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    SEC Volleyball Today: August 31

    volleyBALL RESULTS
    Missouri 3, Houston 0
    Missouri 3, Lipscomb 0
    Georgia 3, Florida International 0
    Georgia 3, Florida A&M 0
    Marquette 3, Ole Miss 0
    Ole Miss 3, Xavier 2
    LSU 3, Rice 0
    Washington 3, LSU 0
    Alabama 3, North Carolina Central 0
    Texas 3, Florida 0
    Arkansas 3, UMBC 0
    Auburn 3, Georgia Southern 1
    Auburn 3, High Point 0
    Tennessee 3, Colorado State 2
    Kentucky 3, Ohio 1
    Texas A&M 3, Yale 1
    Boston College 3, Mississippi State 1

    Mizzou Takes Tournament Opener from Houston, 3-0
     
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Mizzou volleyball team bounced back from its first defeat of the season by topping Houston, 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-15) on Friday morning (Aug. 31) in game one of the Lipscomb Invitational. The Tigers were led by junior outside hitter Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) who finished with a match-high 17 kills while freshman Regan Peltier (Nixa, Mo.) provided a spark in her first career start with a career-best 12 kills on .667 hitting. The win moves the Tigers to 4-1 on the season.
     
    “I was really happy with how we adjusted following a tough second set,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “I thought Regan did a nice job of stepping in and making an impact on the game in her first start. I thought we improved a lot of little things that we did not do well our loss to Michigan last weekend. Now we need to focus on a very good Lipscomb team later tonight.”
     
    Aside from the play of Henning and Peltier, the Tigers also got a nice performance from sophomore Whitney Little (Keller, Texas), who hit .462 with eight kills while pitching in four blocks and four digs. Defensively, the Tiger back row was all over the place, pulling in 58 digs, led by a trio of defensive specialists. Libero Jade Hayes (Ozark, Mo.) led the way with 12 digs while Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) pulled in 11. Sophomore Niki Collier (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) also pulled in a career-best 10 digs, all in the first two sets as she did not tally a dig in the third. The 58 digs by the Tigers are a season-high.
     
    Preseason All-SEC setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was outstanding as usual, spreading 36 assists while just missing a double-double with eight digs and pitching in three kills and a block. The match on Friday morning was the 1,000th career match for Wayne and Susan Kreklow as well.
     
    Mizzou took the first set, 25-18, behind a strong effort from Henning, who posted six kills with just on error on .312 hitting. Defensively, the Tigers were very good in the first set as well, pulling in 17 digs, led by five from Meister and four from Collier. Kreklow was her usual self, dishing 14 assists while guiding the team to a .389 attack percentage. Mizzou served very tough in the first set, keeping Houston out of system while tallying three aces.
     
    The second set, as expected, was much closer as Houston fixed its ball control issues and kept the set close throughout out. But Mizzou took a 24-21 lead late and fended off a rally with a Henning kill to take the second, 25-23, taking a 2-0 lead into intermission. Through two sets, Henning had a match-high 12 kills while Peltier, in her first career start, supplied some efficient offense with six kills on .667 hitting without an error. Collier led the team with a career-high 10 digs through 10 sets.
     
    After a tight second set, Mizzou came out in the third and cut down on its errors and ran away with the third, 25-15. Peltier was phenomenal in the third with six kills on just seven attacks without an error as she capped a career day in style.
     
    Mizzou will play again tonight at 7:30 p.m. against host Lipscomb, which has been to the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years.

    Mizzou Gets Big Win Against Feisty Lipscomb Squad
     
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Mizzou volleyball team earned a big win on Friday night (Aug. 31) in game four of the Lipscomb Invitational as it improved to 2-0 at the tournament and 5-1 on the season. The Tigers swept the Lady Bison, 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-15), behind a strong effort from their outside hitters, which combined for 29 kills and just six errors. All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) had an All-America-type effort in the match, posting a match-high 12 kills on .286 hitting with nine digs, five blocks and two service aces. Newcomer Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) posted 10 kills with just three errors while freshman Regan Peltier (Nixa, Mo.) continued her fine play with seven kills on .429 hitting as she posted a .562 attack clip with 19 kills over the Tigers’ two matches today.
     
    “Well I was really pleased with our effort tonight,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “Lipscomb was one of the teams we knew was going to be a very team to play, especially on the road, but we did a lot of things really well tonight. I thought we did a much better job controlling the ball and Molly (Kreklow) really did a nice job setting up our hitters. Now we need to turn around and play Appalachian State tomorrow.”
     
    Mizzou was very well defensively in the match, pulling in 53 digs while being aced just three times. Conversely, Mizzou served tough all night, acing the Lady Bison 10 times while keeping them out of system all night. Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) led the team with her SEC-leading third double-double as she had 12 digs and 29 assists. Jade Hayes (Ozark, Mo.) tallied 10 digs while Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) and Niki Collier (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) each had eight.
     
    The Tigers took a very competitive first set, 25-21, despite a very spirited effort from the Lipscomb back line which pulled in 23 digs in the first. Kreklow quarterbacked a Tiger offense that got kills from six different players, highlighted by four from Henning and three from Simpson. Mizzou tallied three blocks in the first and corralled 18 digs, limiting LU to just .152 hitting in the first. Kreklow pulled in a team-best five digs in the first.
     
    Mizzou was dominant in the second set and fought off a late attempt at a rally by the Lady Bison to win the frame, 25-19, giving it a 2-0 lead at intermission. The Tigers had 14 kills with just one error on .382 hitting in the second as they hit .329 as a unit through the first two sets. Simpson led Mizzou with nine kills on .350 hitting while Henning had eight kills through two sets on .259 hitting. Peltier kept things going from her morning performance against Houston, tallying four kills on .500 hitting through the first two sets.
     
    Coming out of intermission, Mizzou got four points without even taking an attack at a ball as Kreklow served three aces around a Henning-Little block as it ran out to a 4-0 lead. That set the tone for the whole set as Mizzou ran away with the final frame, 25-15.
     
    Mizzou will look to claim the tournament title tomorrow at 12:30 against Appalachian State.
     




    Georgia Volleyball Gets 3-0 Sweep of FIU
     
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Georgia volleyball team opened the FSU Invitational with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-22) sweep of Florida International on Friday morning at Tully Gym in Tallahassee, Fla. With the win, Georgia moves to 4-0 on the season, while FIU drops to 1-3.
     
    Jasmine Eatmon led the team with a .545 attack percentage, going 6-for-11 with no errors. Brittany Northcutt added nine kills, while Tirah Le’au and Briana Bahr finished with six kills each. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert split time at setter, each finishing with 15 assists.
     
    Elena Perri continued to show her defensive prowess, totaling nine blocks, including one solo block, to lead the match. Eatmon and Bahr each finished with five blocks, as the Georgia out blocked FIU 17-8. Northcutt was just one kill shy of her second double-double of the season, as she led the team in digs with 16.
     
    FIU jumped out to a 10-3 lead in set one before a kill be Eatmon sparked a five-point run that cut the FIU lead to three at 11-8. Chloe Buckendahl tied the match at 13 with a kill. Behind the serve of Allison Summers, Georgia scored four-straight points to take a 17-15 lead. The Bulldogs maintained the lead throughout the rest of the set, scoring the final threepoints, including the set-winner on a Kehoe ace, to seal the set 25-20.
     
    Georgia raced out to a 9-3 lead in the second set, before FIU scored six-straight points to tie the set at nine and force the Bulldogs to call a timeout. Following the timeout, Georgia scored the next four points,including two on blocks, to regain a 13-9 lead. FIU brought the set within one at 13-12, before an Eatmon kill sparked a five-point run that made it an 18-12 set. The Bulldogs went on to score seven of the final 11 points to win the second set 25-16.
     
    The teams tied three times in the third set before an Eatmon kill ignited a seven-point Georgia run that put it on top 13-6. During the run, Georgia saw three kills, two blocks and a pair of FIU miscues. With Georgiaholding a 16-9 lead, FIU scored five of the next six points to make it a three-point set at 17-14. A block by Eatmon and Le’au extended Georgia’s lead to five at 20-15 before FIU made it a 20-18 set on a Georgia error. The Bulldogs scored three of the final four points to take the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
     
    The Bulldogs return to action this afternoon at 6:30 p.m., against Florida A&M at the Al Lawson Center on the campus of Florida A&M.

    Georgia Volleyball Remains Undefeated with Win Over FAMU

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Georgia volleyball team improved to 5-0 on the season with a 3-0 win over Florida A&M in the FSU Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla.  The win was the second of the day for Georgia, as it defeated Florida International 3-0 earlier in the day. The Bulldogs have won each of their past four matches by scores of 3-0.

    “We had two very strong matches today and are happy to get two wins under our belts,” head coach Lizzy Stemke said. “We had some new players step up with very gutsy performances tonight. We’re excited about the wins today and look forward to playing Florida State tomorrow morning.”

    For the second time today, Jasmine Eatmon led the team in attack percentage, hitting at a .438 clip and tying for a team-best eight kills. Tirah Le’au also finished with eight kills, registering a .333 attack percentage. Maggie Baumert paced the offense with 19 assists, with Kaylee Kehoe accounting for 14 assists.

    Briana Bahr led the Bulldogs on the defensive side, finishing with five total blocks, including one solo, while Elena Perri added four blocks. Allison Summers led the way with 15 digs, followed by Chloe Buckendahl with 11. As a team, Georgia held FAMU to a .141 attack percentage.

    Georgia and FAMU kept it close in the first set, tying five times before a kill by Brittany Northcutt gave the Bulldogs a three-point lead at 10-7. FAMU fought back and tied the set five times before kill by Perri sparked a five-point Georgia run that put it on top 20-15. FAMU tied the set at 21, before Georgia answered by scoring the final four points of the set to win it 25-21.

    The Bulldogs opened the second set strong, jumping out to a 6-2 lead that forced the Rattlers to call its first timeout. Following the break, the Bulldogs extended its lead to 16-6, including a four-point run that saw kills by Perri and Northcutt. FAMU pulled within two at 22-20, but a pair of FAMU errors gave the Bulldogs a 24-20 lead. Stacey Smith sealed the 25-20 win with a kill.

    Georgia rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take an 8-4 lead in set one behind the serve of Summers, which included a pair of aces. Georgia scored four-straight points that forced FAMU to call a timeout at the 13-10 mark. With Eatmon serving, the Bulldogs were able to extend their lead to five at 17-12, before Florida A&M tied the set at 19. Georgia scored six of the final seven points of the match, including two on Eatmon kills,  to take the set 25-20 and the match 3-0.

    Georgia returns to action tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m., against tournament-host and ninth-ranked Florida State. It will be the Bulldogs first match of the season against a nationally ranked team.






    Rebels Lose To Marquette In Opening Match of Xavier Invitational
     
    OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss volleyball team jumped out to early leads in each set against Marquette, but could not close them out as it fell 3-0 (21-25, 21-25, 25-27) to open play in the Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio.
     
    Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan led the Rebels (1-3) offensively with 15 kills, three shy of her career high set against Tennessee last season. Senior setter Amanda Philpot passed out 31 assists to go along with her seven kills.
     
    Ole Miss will close out Friday’s doubleheader with a match against the host-school, Xavier, at 6 p.m. CT at the Cintas Center.
     
    “We’re going to have to find an identity of who we really are, and our seniors are going to have to step up,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We do some good things, but we just have to do them on a more consistent basis. We look forward to playing the host-team Xavier this evening.”
     
    Marquette won the match’s opening set 25-21. Ole Miss began the match with five straight points off the serve of freshman defensive specialist Evan St. Laurent. The Golden Eagles stormed back by scoring six of the next seven points and going on another 6-1 run midway through the set to take a 20-16 lead they would not relinquish. Morgan had five kills in the set, while Philpot passed out eight assists.
     
    The Golden Eagles took the second set by the same count, scoring six of the match’s final seven points.
     
    The score was close throughout much of the third set, with eight ties and three lead changes. The Rebels had their first set-point opportunity, leading 24-22, but couldn’t close out the Golden Eagles and lost 27-25.
     
    Following Friday evening’s match against the Musketeers, the Rebels will close out play in the Xavier Invitational on Saturday when they face Tennessee Tech at 1 p.m. CT.

    Ole Miss Claims Five-Set Thriller Over Xavier
     
    OXFORD, Miss. – After a 3-0 loss Friday morning, Ole Miss volleyball head coach Joe Getzin challenged his team. They responded Friday evening.
     
    The Rebels fought off match point in the fourth set and went on a crucial 6-1 run midway through the fifth set to grab a thrilling 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 26-24, 15-8) victory over host-school Xavier in the Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio.
     
    Many of the Rebels turned in career- or season-best performances in the victory, including a career-high 37 digs from senior libero Ashley Veach that ties the school record set by Michelle Whitby-York in 1990, and Morgan Springer in 2010. Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan had a double-double, notching a career-high 20 kills to go along with her 16 digs. Senior setter Amanda Philpot passed out a season-high 46 assists, while senior outside hitter Whitney Craven had a season-high 19 digs and senior right side hitter Allegra Wells had a dozen digs.
     
    “After challenging the upperclassman following this morning’s loss, I was really happy to see how they responded and fought in tonight’s match,” Getzin said. “Ashley Veach stepped up in a big way and made some big plays for us. Kara Morgan continued to develop as an outside hitter and had a good offensive performance against a very-good defensive team.”
     
    Xavier won the first set by a count of 25-22 after a furious Ole Miss rally gave the Rebels the lead. The Musketeers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Ole Miss rebounded to score five straight points. Trailing 15-10, Ole Miss mounted its second comeback of the set, scoring eight of the set’s next 10 points to take an 18-17 lead. Xavier regrouped from there, though, and went on an 8-4 run of its own to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead.
     
    Ole Miss took control of the second set early and never looked back. The Rebels took a 2-1 lead and never trailed for the remainder of the set, stretching its lead to nine points at one time. Wells led the Rebels offensively in the set, recording five kills and three blocks. Junior outside hitter Kellie Goss had three kills of her own and Philpot had a dozen assists.
     
    The third set was the complete opposite of the second set for the Rebels, as Xavier, this time, took an early 2-1 lead and never looked back en route to winning the set 25-14 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
     
    The Rebels showed an immense amount of grit and heart in the fourth set with their backs against the wall. With Xavier leading 24-23 and serving for the match, freshman middle blocker Nakeyta Clair and Morgan combined for a block assist on an attack from Xavier’s Alex Blair to notch the set at 24 points apiece. Wells then gave Ole Miss a 25-24 lead when she converted a kill off a pass from Philpot. After a Xavier timeout, Ole Miss finished off the set with a block assist from Clair and Wells.
     
    Riding a wave of momentum after the dramatic fourth set victory, Ole Miss trailed just once in the fifth set. Tied 5-5, the Rebels used a 6-1 run to build a cushion and finished off Xavier 15-8.
     
    “They have the potential, it’s just a matter of believing in themselves to do it,” Getzin said. “We’re a good team, we just have to believe it. I’m really happy with the leadership we had tonight. Amanda Philpot set a great game today and it was a good win for us.”
     
    The Rebels lost to Marquette 3-0 (21-25, 21-25, 25-27) earlier Friday morning to open play at the Xavier Invitational.
     
    Ole Miss will play again Saturday at 1 p.m. CT against Tennessee Tech to conclude play in the Xavier Invitational.
     
     



    LSU Volleyball Blitzes Rice
     
    HOUSTON, Texas – Desiree Elliott and Madie Jones combined to blast 21 kills as the LSU volleyball team put together its most complete performance on the young season during a 3-0 sweep over Rice (25-16, 25-15, 25-21) Friday to open the relocated Tiger Classic at Fox Gym on the Rice campus.
     
    LSU (2-2) won its second consecutive match and improved to 18-3 all-time versus Rice (2-3). Malorie Pardo distributed 35 assists and notched four kills on her five attempts.  The Tigers connected for a season-high .295 team percentage, recorded nine blocks, smacked a season-best seven aces and tallied a season-best 77 percent sideout efficiency.
     
    “This type of effort is us,” head coach Fran Flory said. “Certainly, I’m proud of how we executed across the board in all phases. We reinvented and found ourselves during this last week of practice. When you have to adapt, it’s a challenge to keep the continuity and focus of our team. You have to credit our upperclassmen for channeling everything in the right direction.”
     
    Elliott crushed 11 kills on a .562 hitting clip and added four blocks, while Jones powered home 10 kills. Khourtni Fears chipped in a career-high eight kills and tacked on four blocks. Cati Leak filled up the box score with six kills, four digs, three blocks and two aces.
     
    “I thought Desiree had a decent weekend at Texas,” Flory said. “She played very hard, but we just couldn’t create enough opportunities for her. The fact we were able to control the first contact well enough to get her involved into a major offensive role was key. When her offense is rolling, her blocking also jumps to a high level.”
     
    Defensively, Meghan Mannari reeled in a match-best 13 digs and fired in two aces. She has reached double figure scoops in three of four matches this season.  
     
    Rice was led by Nancy Cole's seven kills, Megan Murphy's 24 assists and Daniela Arenas' 11 digs.
     
    LSU fired out to an 11-5 advantage to open set one on a Helen Boyle ace. The Tigers continued to push points and stretched their lead to 21-10 on an Elliott spike. A Leak kill capped the stanza and a 25-16 opening set triumph.
     
    The two teams split the first 26 points of the second set before LSU strung together a strong 12-2 finishing kick. The Tigers started the flurry with four straight points as Pardo sent over a second contact kill followed by a Rice attack error, a Jones block and an Elliott spike to make it 17-13. After an Owl sideout, Jones exploded for three kills sandwiched between a Fears spike to give LSU a 21-14 edge. Fears was involved in three blocks down the stretch to finish off the 25-15 win.
     
    The third set featured 14 ties and four lead changes, the latest coming at 17-17. Jones broke the deadlock with a sideout spike coupled with a Sam Delahoussaye ace to give LSU a 19-17 edge. The Tigers converted on their final four sideout attempts and wrapped up the sweep with a Jones kill for the 25-21 victory.
     
    “We were focused on turning it around this weekend after not playing our best last weekend,” Elliott said. “I thought we put the pedal to the medal in the first two sets. We knew coming into the match that Rice was a very talented offensive and scrappy defensive team. Our goal was to turn our mistakes from last weekend into positives this weekend.”
     
    LSU returns to action later this evening versus No. 12 Washington, a 3-0 winner over No. 7 Purdue. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. with live stats available inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
     
    “The Washington match is not only a bigger challenge in terms of experience but also size on the court,” Flory said. “They’re a big, physical team that plays way above the net. We know we have to be able to match up against these big, physical teams to get into and advance deep in the NCAA Tournament. That’s why we chose this type of non-conference schedule.”

    LSU Volleyball Downed by No. 12 Washington
     
    HOUSTON, Texas – The LSU volleyball team fought hard, but No. 12 Washington made the key plays late in sets to grind out a 3-0 sweep [25-21, 25-20, 25-22] over the Tigers to cap day one of the relocated Tiger Classic Friday evening at Fox Gym on the Rice University campus.
     
    Washington (5-0) notched a .222 hitting percentage and limited LSU (2-3) to a .098 hitting clip. The Huskies also edged LSU with a 9-7 blocking and 44-42 dig advantages, respectively.
     
    UW’s Krista Vansant posted a match-high 13 kills on a .345 hitting percentage. She also added seven digs and two stuffs. Kylin Munoz also chipped in nine kills, while Jenni Nogueras handed out 22 assists and registered eight digs. Amanda Gill garnered three kills and five blocks.
     
    “We just could not quite break Washington,” head coach Fran Flory said. “We got awfully close. I was extremely proud of the players and their effort. We fought as hard as we could fight and were a couple of touches away from winning each set. We made a couple of critical errors and let a few easy points stay out on the court. Against a quality Washington team, you have to make those plays. Credit Washington because they had an answer for everything we did. That’s the sign of a great team. You can cinque away at their armor, but you can’t quite break them.”
     
    Cati Leak worked her way to 10 kills, six digs and four blocks to fuel the Tigers. Desiree Elliott cranked nine kills on a .333 hitting ratio, and Madie Jones tacked on seven kills. However, the Elliott-Jones duo was limited to 18 swings apiece. Khourti Fears totaled four kills and five blocks, while Malorie Pardo finished with 27 assists.
     
    “Cati played great and took big time swings,” Flory said. “She didn’t have the best opportunities to score and got a lot of out-of-system balls with two huge blockers in front of her a majority of the time. I was disappointed that we couldn’t get our middles going more, but Washington served extremely tough. What they did worked against us. What we did, we couldn’t sustain long enough against them.”
     
    Defensively, Meghan Mannari gobbled up a match-best 18 digs for LSU. She moved to within 118 scoops from becoming the 12th player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs. Sam Delahoussaye and Helen Boyle picked up eight digs apiece.
     
    “Meghan played great defense,” Flory said. “To have 18 digs against this type of powerful team is absolutely a magnificent effort. Defense is a fight, a tenacity and an attitude. We made some adjustments and extended a lot of the rallies as long as we could tonight.”
     
    The two teams traded the first 22 points of the opening set. LSU snatched the momentum with a 5-1 run to secure a 16-12 lead. Leak and Boyle ripped kills, while Fears and Leak teamed for a pair of stuffs. Following a timeout, Washington countered with 5-1 spurt of its own to even the tally at 17-17 capped by consecutive Gabbi Parker spikes. Deadlocked at 20-20, the Huskies reeled off five of the final six points and a Vansant ace secured a 25-21 win.
     
    Washington kept firing on all cylinders and built a 10-3 advantage to start set two. The Huskies made the most of five LSU hitting miscues early in the frame. Down 19-10, the Tigers charged back behind 10 of the next 14 points. Boyle, Pardo and Delahoussaye each smacked aces during the run that brought LSU back to within 23-20. UW received a Munoz kill and block to tuck away the second set by a 25-20 margin.
     
    The third set was a back-and-forth affair that featured 14 ties and six lead changes. Neither team gained more than a three-point advantage. Tied at 20-20, Washington crept ahead on a Vansant kill followed by consecutive Boyle attack errors which forced LSU to use both of its timeouts. Parker and Munoz popped sideouts spikes to enable the Huskies to secure the sweep with the 25-22 victory.
     
    LSU faces its fourth ranked opponent of the young 2012 season and meets No. 7 Purdue to conclude the Tiger Classic. Saturday’s first serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. with live stats available inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
     
    “There’s no doubt that Purdue is going to play tomorrow with a point to prove,” Flory said. “This is a key match for both teams. We have to recover a bit after fighting so hard against Washington. Our players have an outstanding fitness level, and we’re going to have to be prepared for another hard-fought battle.”      

     
     




    Alabama Volleyball Opens Elon Phoenix Classic with Three Set Win over NCCU
     
    Elon, N.C. – The Alabama volleyball team posted a 3-0 (25-13, 30-28, 25-16) victory over the North Carolina Central Eagles in the Elon Phoenix Classic on Friday night. Leading the way for the Crimson Tide was Pricilla Duke-Ezeji with 12 kills and Andrea McQuaid added 11. With the victory, Alabama improves to 4-1 on the season, while the Eagles fall to 1-5 overall.
     
    This clearly was a better offensive performance for us tonight as it was one of the highest percentages we’ve hit for this season,” second-year head coach Ed Allen said. “It was a better night in terms of consistency from Pricilla, and McQuaid continues to be one of our top kill leaders and is our top hitting percentage leader.”
     
    Alabama put together a .320 hitting night, as it posted 34 kills on 75 attempts with 10 errors. McQuaid led the Tide with a .429 average, as she went over the .400 mark for the fourth straight match. McQuaid had just two errors on 21 swings and reached the 10-kill mark for the third time this season.
     
    Duke-Ezeji also reached the 10-kill mark for the third time this season as she recorded a match-high 12 kills on 24 attempts. With just four errors, Duke-Ezeji finished the night with a .364 hitting mark, her highest of the season. Sierra Wilson chipped in with 30 assists, while adding six digs, four aces, one kill and one block.
     
    Defensively, Alabama had 39 digs in the match as Yukie Futami and Cristina Arenas tied for match-high honors with nine each.
     
    “We did not have a good night in terms of ball control from serve and receive and it wasn’t a good defensive night either,” Allen said. “I thought we blocked better, but didn’t make our reads as well as were capable of and were still working to cover the floor sufficiently.”
     
    In the opening set, the score was tied at 5-5 before Alabama went on a 9-2 run to open a 14-7 lead. From there, UA cruised to a 25-13 first set victory. Alabama finished the first set with 10 kills on 16 attempts and did not commit an attack error to post a .625 hitting percentage.
     
    In the second set, Alabama had a 17-13 lead but gave up five straight points to trail 18-17 following a set error by Wilson. The Tide recovered to take a 22-20 lead and was serving for the set at 24-23. The teams would side out the next five points, before a Duke-Ezeji error gave the Eagles set point at 27-26. From there, the Tide scored four of the final five points to pull out a 30-28 victory in the second set and open a 2-0 lead in the match.
     
    In the third, UA had a comfortable 13-5 lead before giving up four straight points to allow the Eagles to get within four at 13-9.  After an Eagles serving error, Wilson served eight straight times, including three straight aces, as Alabama opened a 21-9 advantage. NCCU scored four straight points to get within eight (22-14), before the Tide closed out the match with a 25-16 third set victory.
     
    Alabama returns to action on Saturday with matches against Gardner-Webb and Elon at 9 a.m. CT and 6 p.m. CT, respectively.






    Recek Sets Florida Freshman Record as No. 18 Gator Volleyball Falls to No. 2 Texas, 3-0

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) had the match of a lifetime, hitting 22 kills on a .475 hitting clip, but it wasn't enough as the No. 18 Florida Gators fell 3-0 (29-27, 25-22, 26-24) to No. 2 Texas in the opening match of the Nike Big Four Classic at Rec Hall on the campus of No. 4 Penn State. The Gators are now 3-1 on the season while the Longhorns move to 5-0 in 2012.

    "Texas, the second-ranked team in the nation, with their physicality and size...no one besides probably the Gators and the fans that are here gave us a chance," Florida head coach Mary Wise said. "The score was exactly as anyone would have predicted based on Texas and their talent and where we are in our progression. Those three sets, our team played their hearts out. We competed and worked so hard."

    Recek's 22-kill performance marks the best 3-set hitting performance by a freshman in Florida history and ties her for third-best in a 3-set match in program history. The Slovenia native was virtually unstoppable against the Longhorns, tallying only three errors for the afternoon on 40 swings.

    "Živa was nothing short of sensational," Wise commented. "For her to set a record, and we've had some pretty phenomenal freshman in the past, but for her to set that mark, I think it shows her skill, as well as the fact that Taylor did a great job distributing the ball and getting it to Živa and Chloe, who were our hot hands."

    Junior Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) had 16 kills against the Longhorns, while fellow middle blocker Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va.) had seven. Mann hit .394 on the afternoon and Antwi put up an even .400 offensive clip.

    Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) was fantastic for Florida, dishing out 47 assists and aiding the Gators to a .314 hitting percentage. Florida outhit Texas .314-.313. On the defensive side of things, it was sophomore libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) who led the way with 15 digs for the Orange and Blue. Unroe also tallied three assists and a service ace against the Longhorns while continuing her perfect serve-receive percentage on the season.

    A trio of Gators also did their part for Florida's backcourt, as sophomore Holly Pole (Ocala, Fla.) notched eight digs and Brauneis and freshman Berkley Whaley (St. Petersburg, Fla.) each registered seven scoops apiece.

    A marathon first set went the Longhorns' way, as Florida played catch-up throughout the opening stanza. Texas jumped out to an early lead but two quick kills by Mann and Brauneis tied things up at 2-2, and a kill through the seam of the block by Recek gave Florida its first lead of the match, 3-2. The teams continued to battle, trading the lead before Texas went up 10-7 on a kill by Haley Eckerman. A Florida net violation forced a Gator timeout at 12-8. Texas continued its run out of the timeout, going up 16-10 before Recek found the seam once again for a slam to start a 3-0 run. A Recek tip closed the gap at 16-13 and forced a Texas timeout.

    The Gators continued to surge, coming within two, 17-15, courtesy of a Texas net violation. The Longhorns battled back and pulled ahead, 20-16. A Whaley-Mann stuff block and an ensuing Mann kill pulled Florida within one, 20-19, forcing a Texas timeout. Another Mann kill off the Longhorn triple block tied things up at 20 apiece. Texas rattled off two quick points to force a Florida timeout at 22-20. Recek tallied back-to-back kills to save three set points and tie the set at 24-24. Florida saved another set point to tie the set at 25-25. The Longhorns tooled the block to bring up their fifth set point at 26-25. Recek put down another kill to tie the set once again, but missed a serve long to bring up a sixth set point for Texas. Whaley stuffed a McNeal attack and tied the set at 27-27. An Eckerman kill and Sha'Dare McNeal ace edged the set Texas' way, 29-27.

    Texas jumped out to an early 4-1 lead behind the serve of McNeal, the same Longhorn who ended the first set on an ace. Florida battled and pulled within one, 7-6, behind the serve of the Gators' serving leader, Antwi. The quick set out of the middle continued to work well for the Orange and Blue, pulling within one at 9-8. Florida tied the set at 9-9 with an ace by Whaley. The teams traded serve until a Recek kill gave Florida a 12-11 advantage. An Antwi overpass kill kept the Gators out front, 13-12. A gutsy set by Brauneis left Mann with a wide open net to slam one down and put Florida ahead, 16-14, forcing a Texas timeout. Mann tallied her fourth straight kill to give the Gators an 18-15 advantage.

    UT rattled off two quick points to force Florida's first timeout of the set at 18-17. A Longhorn stuff block tied the set at 18 apiece and the Longhorns took the lead off a Hannah Allison service ace, 20-19. Brauneis tipped into the Texas block to give the Longhorns a 21-19 advantage and force Florida's final timeout of the set. Khat Bell killed it to score Texas' fifth straight point, 23-19. A Texas net violation put Florida above the double decade mark at 23-20. Recek tallied back-to-back kills to pull Florida within two at 24-22 but a Bailey Webster kill gave Texas the second set, 25-22.

    The Gators had a quick start, going up 6-3 behind big swings by Recek. A Mann kill in transition gave Florida a 7-4 lead early in set three. Another Recek kill gave her 20 on the afternoon and put the Gators ahead, 9-6. Texas went on a mini run and tied the set at 9-9 before Recek swung big again to put Florida ahead, 10-9. Texas served up an ace to take their first lead of the set, 11-10. The teams traded serve and the lead multiple times courtesy of long service errors by both squads. Florida took timeout after an Amy Neal kill gave Texas a 16-15 advantage.

    Mann tipped one behind the block out of the timeout to tie the set at 16-16. An Unroe service ace gave Florida the lead at 17-16. The teams continued to battle and a Recek kill, her 22nd of the night, forced a Texas timeout with Florida ahead at 19-18. The Gators tied things up at 21-21 off a Recek service ace but two quick points by Texas gave them a two-point advantage. Back-to-back stuff blocks by Mann and junior Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) tied the set at 23-23. A Mann kill saved match point and tied things up at 24-24. Back-to-back Webster kills gave the Longhorns the match, 26-24.

    Next up for the Gators is No. 9 Stanford, who plays in the nightcap. The Cardinal face No. 4 Penn State on the Nittany Lions' home court later this evening. First serve between the Gators and the Cardinal is set for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.






    Offense leads Arkansas to straight-set win vs. UMBC
         
    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team registered a season-high .380 hitting percentage in Friday’s straight-set win over UMBC (25-16, 25-20, 25-7) on day one of the adidas/Michigan Challenge at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Roslandy Acosta led all hitters with a match-high 13 kills and Jasmine Norton added 11 kills. Paced by libero Emily Helm, Arkansas’ defense held the Retrievers to a .098 hitting percentage and had six players with at least four digs.
                
    With just one attack error on 15 attempts, Acosta posted a .800 hitting percentage which ties her for the third-best single-match performance in school history. The Razorback senior has at least 10 kills in all five matches this season. With her sixth kill of the match—a shot down the line into the deep corner—Norton moved into fourth place on Arkansas’ all-time kills list. She currently has 1,415 kills in her career.

    From her setter position, Raymariely Santos totaled 33 assists, five kills and four digs. Janeliss Torres-Lopez added six kills, a .545 hitting percentage (6-0-11) and three total blocks out of the middle. UMBC is the third opponent this season the Razorbacks have held under the .100 mark.
                
    With the score tied at four-all in the first, Arkansas (5-0) reeled off six straight points to take control of the game. The Razorbacks pushed their lead to 19-11 after a service ace from Avery Lewis and a kill from Santos, forcing a second timeout from UMBC (2-4). Consecutive kills from Acosta brought the team to set point and an attack error by the Retrievers handed Arkansas the first set, 25-16.
                
    “From an attacking standpoint, (Roslandy) did some really good things,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “The numbers speak for themselves. The thing that impresses me most about her is she’s always finding ways to better herself. She hit .800 and she’s continuing to ask some really good questions after the match. That’s why she’s been successful.”
                
    After trading points early in the second set, the Razorbacks scored five of six points to take a 14-9 lead after a kill from Torres-Lopez. Norton found the floor later in the set to give her team an 18-13 lead and force another UMBC timeout. The Retrievers pulled to within three late in the set but Hayley Koop closed out the set, 25-20, with a kill and solo block on consecutive points.
                
    Arkansas trailed by two early in the third set but used an eight-point scoring run with Norton at the service line to take a 10-4 lead. After UMBC broke that streak, Kasey Heckelman stepped to the line for 12 straight points. By the time she was done serving, the Razorbacks had a 22-5 advantage. Acosta and Norton both had three kills in the set but Amanda Anderson had the final kill of the match to close out the set, 25-7, and seal the Razorbacks’ fifth win of the season.
                
    “Being our first road match in a different environment, I’m certainly pleased with the outcome,” Pulliza said. “The score in the third set (25-7) indicates we got better as the match went on. We were sloppy at times but were able to manage ourselves to execute. We have to clean it up in our first match tomorrow against Central Michigan, a very good team.”
                
    The Razorbacks resume continue weekend action at the adidas/Michigan Challenge with two match Saturday. Arkansas will first face Central Michigan at 12:30 p.m. (CT) and close out the tournament against the host team, No. 22 Michigan. Both Central Michigan and Michigan advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Chippewas lost in the first round to eventual national runner-up Illinois while the Wolverines advanced to the regional semifinal round.
     




    Auburn Downs Georgia Southern, 3-1, in Home Opener

    AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team stayed unbeaten on the young season, opening the home portion of the schedule with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 28-26) victory over Georgia Southern on Friday morning to kick off the War Eagle Invitational at the Student Activities Center.

    Auburn (4-0) struggled at times during the match but was able to outlast Georgia Southern (2-2) with tough blocking and improved hitting in the last two sets. Despite that, the Eagles outperformed Auburn in kills (59-52), assists (52-47), and digs (93-75), but the Tigers recorded 11 blocks to GSU's five and out-hit the Eagles .167 to .148.

    Junior Camila Jersonsky led the Tigers with 12 kills, taking team honors for the second straight match. She also recorded four blocks, matching Courtney McDonald and Halle Kearney for the team lead. Three players contributed nine kills apiece with Sarah Bullock (16 digs) and Katherine Culwell (10 digs) barely missing double-doubles.

    Both Auburn setters earned double-doubles with junior Chelsea Wintzinger notching 19 assists and 11 digs and freshman Ciara Richards posting 22 assists with 11 digs. Junior libero Sarah Wroblicky was the fifth different Auburn player with 10+ digs, posting 14 on the day.

    Neither team hit well in the first set with both teams below the .100 mark, but Georgia Southern had one more kill than the Tigers and withstood 10 ties and five lead changes for a 25-23 win. Auburn jumped out to a 10-6 lead early, but the Eagles went on a 11-5 run to force an Auburn timeout at 17-15. From there, the teams traded leads twice more before GSU benefitted from an Auburn service error at 23-23, then won the set on Auburn's eight attack error of the game.

    The second set was more of the same; however, the Tigers managed to come out on top with a 25-23 win of their own. This set saw 11 ties and seven lead changes as neither team led by more than two points the entire set. After the score was knotted at 20-20, a block from McDonald and Culwell and an service ace from Bullock gave Auburn a two-point advantage, and Auburn would cling to that margin and tie the match at a set apiece.

    Auburn jumped out to an early lead in the third set and never looked back, out-hitting GSU .152 to .050 to take a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-19 second-set win. The Tigers benefitted from nine attack errors and five service errors from the Eagles.

    Set four was another back-and-forth affair with 19 ties and seven lead changes. Georgia Southern had a three-point lead at 18-15, then had two set point chances at 24-22. But kills from Culwell and Jersonsky tied it up at 24-all, and a GSU attack error gave Auburn its first match-point chance of the day. The Eagles, however, would fight off two match point attempts before Auburn finally got back-to-back kills from Bullock to put the match away.

    Earlier in the day, High Point outlasted Jacksonville State, 3-2, in the opening match of the tournament.

    The War Eagle Invitational continues Friday evening with Jacksonville State facing Georgia Southern at 5 p.m., followed by the Tigers playing host to High Point at 7 p.m.

    Auburn Sweeps High Point for Fifth Straight Win
     
    AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s volleyball team kept rolling Friday night, making quick work of High Point with a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-15, 25-17) at the Student Activities Center in the fourth match of the War Eagle Invitational.
     
    Auburn (5-0) showed notable improvement from the day’s earlier match, posting a sparkling .345 hitting percentage, the best for Auburn since hitting .381 in a three-set win over Alabama last season. High Point (3-2), meanwhile, earned a split in their matches Friday after defeating Jacksonville State in earlier action.
     
    The Tigers defeated Georgia Southern 3-1 earlier in the day.
     
    “Obviously, coming out and getting two wins was very important to us,” Auburn Head Coach Rick Nold said.  “But a lot of what we’re talking about is trying to make improvements each game. I don’t think our level of play was where it needed to be. But we made some changes, made some improvements, and that’s what we’re going to have to keep doing going into SEC play.
     
    “It’s tough to nail (our improvements) down to one thing, a lot of it is just about the presence we have on the court. You see that a lot of times in the aggressiveness of our offense and how we’re scrambling on defense. I felt like we were just a little hesitant earlier, but we were much more aggressive (tonight) in getting after balls.”
     
    Auburn had 40 kills to High Point’s 30 and out-dug the Panthers 39-30. The Tigers also were improved at the net, posting seven blocks to the Panthers’ 30 and holding High Point to a .108 attack percentage.
     
    Senior Sarah Bullock and junior Katherine Culwell led the Auburn offense with eight kills apiece, and Bullock added eight digs. Culwell also was involved in four blocks. Junior Courtney McDonald added seven kills and three blocks, and sophomore transfer Halle Kearney had six kills.
     
    Junior libero Sarah Wroblicky led Auburn with 12 digs, and junior setter Chelsea Wintzinger had a game-high 19 assists.
     
    The match was all Auburn from the start. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first set and maintained the four-point lead at 16-12 until High Point cut it to a two-point margin. But from there, four errors in five rallies by the Panthers pushed the Auburn advantage to 20-15, and kills from CUlwell, Jersonsky and Kearney gave Auburn the first-set win, 25-19. The Tigers hit .385 in the set.
     
    Set two was more of the same as Auburn rolled to a 25-15 win with the Tiger defense holding High Point to a minus-.062 hitting percentage. The score remained close for the first 25 rallies before Auburn finally pulled ahead to a 15-12 advantage on two straight blocks by McDonald and Culwell and a kill from Chloe Rowand. Auburn would finish the set on a 10-2 run, including another block from Jersonsky and Culwell and four straight kills from Culwell, Kearney and Bullock to end the set.
     
    Auburn jumped out early in the third set, sprinting to a 12-5 lead and never looking back on the way to a 25-17 clinching win. The Tigers spread the ball around in the game with Bullock, Culwell, McDonald and Kearney all recording three kills each as Auburn hit .393 in the final frame.
     
    In action Friday afternoon, Georgia Southern rebounded from an earlier loss to Auburn to sweep Jacksonville State 3-0. GSU will face High Point at 11 a.m. Saturday.
     
    The Tigers will wrap up the War Eagle Invitational with a 1:30 p.m. match against Jacksonville State at the Student Activities Center; admission is free.






    #14 Tennessee Outlasts #24 Colorado State, 3-2

    WICHITA, Kan. -For the second straight match, the No. 14 University of Tennessee volleyball team prevailed over a top-25 opponent in five sets as the Lady Vols defeated No. 24 Colorado State, 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-11), in their opening match of the Wichita State Shocker Volleyball Classic on Friday night at Charles Koch Arena.

    With the win, Tennessee improves to 3-1 on the young 2012 campaign and picks up its second win over a ranked opponent. Last season, the Lady Vols beat four ranked teams, including three in the top 16. The win also improves UT to 3-1 all-time against Colorado State (3-2).

    Junior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson led the match with 24 kills and 18 digs to notch her third-consecutive and 30th-career double-double. Sophomore Tiffany Baker tied a career high with 19 kills and eight digs, while senior Leslie Cikra added 10 kills and a career-high seven blocks for UT. Robinson and Baker also combined for six service aces.

    Sophomore setter Mary Pollmiller dished out an even 50 assists and scooped nine digs for the Lady Vols. Redshirt senior Kayla Jeter and sophomore transfer Olivia Okoro combined for nine rejections.

    The Lady Vols jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the Rams in the opening game, but quickly had their lead erased as CSU leveled it at 3-3. Midway through the set, Robinson gave UT a 16-14 lead following consecutive aces. After a CSU timeout and kill, Tennessee went on a 4-0 run to go up 20-15 in the game. Robinson put an end to the back-and-forth affair with consecutive kills to secure a 25-22 win for UT. The set consisted of 10 ties and six leads changes.

    The Big Orange went up as many as five points in the second game at 16-11, but the Rams fought back to win the set by a 25-23 margin. Robinson posted six kills and six digs in the set to reach her 30th-career double-double in just the second frame.

    After the break, the third set looked a lot like the second, as UT cruised to a 17-11 lead midway through. The Rams rallied once again and tied the set at 21. A Jeter roll that landed in the middle of the Ram defense gave UT a 23-22 lead. A Baker kill gave Tennessee set point, but CSU would score three straight points to force its own set point at 25-24. With Baker at the line, she landed two straight serves in between CSU defenders to close out the set with the Lady Vols ahead, 27-25.

    Colorado State established control of the fourth set early, as the Mountain West Conference affiliate went up 4-0. The Lady Vols battled back to tie it late in the game at 16, but CSU strung some point together once again to secure a 25-22 victory and level the match at two sets apiece.

    Behind a Baker kill and block, UT took a 3-1 lead to start the fifth and final set, but again the Rams would rally to score four consecutive points and go up 4-3. The teams traded points until the Lady Vols posted a 7-0 run, which included two kills from Robinson and two from Baker, to for match point at 14-8. CSU scored the next three points, but Robinson put the match away with her 24th smash of the night to secure the five-set win.

    The Orange & White return to action tomorrow at 7 p.m. CT when it takes on BYU at Wichita State's Charles Koch Arena. The Lady Vols are 1-0 all-time against the Cougars.
     




    No. 10 Kentucky Powers Past Ohio, 3-1

    ATHENS, Ohio. – The 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team powered past the host Ohio Bobcats for a 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21) road victory on Friday night in front of 3,318 fans at the Convocation Center. Senior setter Christine Hartmann passed out 45 assists and earned a double-double effort with a team-high 14 digs in the win.

    With the victory the Wildcats improve to 4-1 on the season, while Ohio falls to 0-4 on the year. UK returns to action tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET in a top-20 showdown with No. 17 Oregon. UK will close out the Baymont Tournament at 8 p.m. ET against Western Carolina.

    “Ohio is a good team,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “I’m really proud of the way we came out in game one and applied lots of pressure. Ohio then played well in game three, but I thought we fought through some adversity and really played well after point 20 in the fourth set. Our blocking defense was pretty consistent most of the match again for us.”

    Sophomore Lauren O’Conner led the way for the fifth consecutive match with 15 kills on .342 hitting. Junior Whitney Billings also reached double figures with 13 kills and narrowly missed out on her fourth-straight double-double effort with nine digs. Senior Ashley Frazier chipped in with nine kills and junior Alexandra Morgan added eight. Freshman Kayla Tronick saw the first match action of her career and totaled a trio of kills and added a block over the final two stanzas.

    Hartmann paved the way defensively with 14 scoops and four blocks. Freshman Sara Schwarzwalder led the front line with six blocks, while Morgan added five and Billings chipped in with four. Senior libero Stephanie Klefot had nine digs with sophomore Jackie Napper matching that total.

    Kentucky jumped out to a fast pace scoring the opening four points on a pair of O’Conner kills. Billings added a kill of her own and then teamed up with Morgan for a block to force the Bobcats into a very early timeout. UK’s pressure did not stop following the break as the Blue and White stretched its lead to as many as eight at 16-8 following a crushing kill from Billings and then an ace from the Helena, Ala., native.

    UK capped the set with a 25-16 victory dominating in all phases of the game. UK totaled 15 kills and four blocks in the set led by four hammers from Billings. She also chipped in with a pair of blocks to pace the scoring.

    Ohio earned an early advantage going up as many as six at 11-5 forcing the Wildcats to us a timeout. Following the break, Kentucky utilized a 7-2 run to bridge the gap and come within one at 13-12 following a kill from Morgan and an ace from Billings. Ohio then took its first timeout to attempt to quell the threat.

    Kentucky however would not go away eventually tying the score at 16 as Hartmann and Schwarzwalder teamed up for a block. Hartmann and Billings charted consecutive kills to give the Wildcats their first lead of the frame at 19-17 and Ohio burned its final timeout. Kentucky then finished the set on a 6-4 run for the 25-21 victory.

    Ohio scored the first four points of the third set and never looked back en route to a 25-21 victory to force a fourth frame. Kentucky posted 14 kills on a mere .175 hitting clip, while Ohio banged out 15 on a .355 percentage. Kentucky kept the pressure on and three consecutive kills from O’Conner lifted the Blue and White to its largest lead of the frame at 17-10. Ohio clawed back and got back to within 22-20. Kentucky closed the frame on a 3-1 run and captured the match.

    Kentucky responded by grabbing an early 10-7 lead in the fourth following a 4-0 run which was highlighted by kills from both Billings and Tronick. Hartmann capped the run with a service ace to force the Bobcats into a timeout.

    Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.
     




    Texas A&M Holds off Feisty Yale Team, 3-1
     
    NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior middle blocker Stephanie Minnerly posted career highs with 13 kills and a .500 hitting efficiency to lead Texas A&M to a hard-fought 25-20, 35-33, 22-25, 25-18 victory over a feisty and inspired Yale team tonight at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
     
    “I’ve seen Minnerly do some great things in practices,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “We know that she has a lot of experience, and there are days when she is really, really hot like today. She has the fastest arm on the team, she is going to work her tail off to get the job done, and when she is hot, she is really hard to stop. That was just a really nice surprise for our opponents, who probably had not seen her very much. It was good for her. We needed her to play like that.”
     
    A&M, facing its first Ivy League team in program history, also had career performances from junior defensive specialist Kelsey Kinley and junior outside hitter Heather Reynolds, who both posted personal bests with 20 digs apiece as the Aggies spoiled the Bulldogs’ season opener and also snapped Yale’s 10-match home winning streak to improve to 3-1.
     
    A&M used runs of four and five points to build a 14-8 lead in the opening set. Yale would get within 16-12 but kills by setter Allie Sawatzky and Minnerly put the Aggies back ahead by six points. The teams then traded points until, with A&M leading 22-17, Yale committed a hitting error and Lindsey Miller followed with a kill to put the Aggies serving for the set. The Bulldogs scored three unanswered points before senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger unleashed her fifth kill to end the set.
     
    The second set was an intense battle that saw 18 ties and six lead changes, as well as a late rally that led to an A&M record 35 points, the Aggies’ most points scored in a frame since the 25-point cap went into effect in 2008. The Bulldogs broke away from an 8-8 tie and went on to build their biggest lead at 19-14. After using their second timeout, the Aggies ended the run and began a run of their own as Sawatzky and Miller posted a block and Minnerly got a tip kill. Two hitting errors by the Bulldogs put A&M within 19-18.
     
    The teams exchanged points until Yale scored two to go up, 23-20. Aggie senior opposite Alisia Kastmo then had back-to-back kills, and Reynolds and Miller followed with a block to tie the score for the first time since 8-8. Yale then got a kill off the block to be serving for the set, but Kastmo kept A&M alive with a kill. Yale registered another kill, but Miller blasted a kill and then teamed with Mellinger for a block to put A&M up 26-25, giving the Aggies their first lead since 8-7.
     
    Yale fought off four set points and retook the lead at 30-29 as A&M’s attack sailed long. Yale was then whistled for a ball handling error and Reynolds followed with a kill to regain the lead for A&M, 31-30. The score was tied three more times before Mellinger pounded a kill down the line and Sawatzky followed with a kill to give the Aggies a 35-33 come-from-behind win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
     
    Yale took control of the third set, and although A&M overcame a six-point deficit late in the stanza, the Bulldogs outhit the Aggies, .424 to .206 to get the win. Yale held a 20-14 lead when A&M reeled off five unanswered points to get within 20-19. They later tied the score at 21 and 22 before Yale posted three consecutive kills to get the win.
     
    Behind the strong serving of back-up setter Mariah Agre, A&M jumped out to a five-point lead to begin the fourth set and went on to build what would become an insurmountable 16-3 lead. The Bulldogs continued to fight and later got within 21-16 but could get no closer. The Aggies were up, 24-18, when Yale hit into the net to end the match.
     
    “Serving and passing in the fourth set got them when we went on a big run,” Corbelli said. “They struggled, and with this kind of scoring it is tough to get back when you let yourself get down 6, 7 or 8 points. Our serving was consistent. Agre is one of our best servers and she was able to keep pressure on them, and that started to separate us in the fourth set.”
     
    Mellinger led A&M with 14 kills for the match, and Kastmo also had double-figure kills with 11. Mellinger completed a double-double with 15 digs, and senior libero Megan Pendergast added 11 digs.
     
    Kendall Polan was the only Yale player to reach double figures in kills with 17, but the Bulldogs had five players record double-digit digs.
     
    “(Yale) played some really intense and great defense,” Corbelli said. “Certainly with five players in double-figure digs, that hasn’t happened in a long time where we have had a team that has been that accurate with their defense. They played inspired and had a great game play and it was really tough for us to be on our first road match and make the adjustments as we were going, because we didn’t know anything about them.”
     
    A&M closes out the Yale Classic with a pair of matches on Saturday. The Aggies face American (2-1) at 10 a.m. (CT) and then close out the tournament against Stony Brook (1-3) at 4 p.m. (CT).
     
    “We have to sharpen up our passing,” Corbelli said about tomorrow’s matches. “I felt like that was a little bit off tonight, and the styles that these two teams are going to play, they are aggressive, they are going to come at us really hard and we know it. We are going to have to find a way to be on the offensive more than the defensive like we were tonight.”
     



    Bulldogs Drop Tournament Opener to BC

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Freshman Sarah Nielsen and Taylor Scott reached double figures in kills but the Bulldogs came up short in a 3-1 Friday night match with Boston College in the opening round of the Luxe City Center Trojan Invitational.

    Nielsen totaled 13 kills and Scott added 12 as BC (4-2) prevailed 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 25-12.

    The Bulldogs (2-2) continue play in the two-day Labor Day weekend tournament Saturday, taking on No. 25 Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. (CDT) and fifth-ranked tourney-host Southern Cal at 10 p.m. (CDT).

    State was not able to overcome the strong 1-2 offensive punch of Katty Workman and Courtney Castle. Workman piled up 20 kills while Castle finished with 16. Both reached double-double status, adding 10 digs and 23 digs respectively.

    Boston College built up a solid statistical edge, leading the Bulldogs 63-48 in kills, 69-57 in digs and a 6-3 advantage in total team blocks.

    State got off to a slow start in the opening set but managed to stay even with BC through the midpoint of the opening stanza before the Eagles, on a 5-1 run, pulled away from a 12-12 deadlock en route to a 25-20 win in the first set.

    Scott, one of two Bulldogs from California, and sophomore Sarah Nielsen sparked a second set surge that evened the match. Scott tallied half of her 12 kills in the frame and Nielsen added four as State hit a match-best .455 in a 25-21 win.

    But the Eagles regained their offensive edge in the third set, trailing just twice in a 25-18 win and then blitzing to a 25-12 win in a match-clinching decision in the fourth set.

    Rookie Alex Warren finished with eight kills on a team-best .500 hitting night and led the MSU effort at the net with two blocks., while SEC Freshman of the Week Roxanne McVey paced MSU on defense with 19 digs.

    Junior setter Paris Perret, who tallied a match-high 40 assists, was, like Taylor Scott, a dig away from double-double status.