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    SEC Volleyball Saturday Roundup

    Saturday Volleyball RESULTS
    Iowa State 3, Texas A&M 1
    Washington State 3, Alabama 0
    Alabama 3, Army 1
    Maryland 3, Ole Miss 2
    LSU 3, UC Davis 1
    LSU 3, San Diego 2
    Butler 3, Tennessee 0
    South Carolina 3, High Point 0
    Arkansas 3, UMKC 0
    Florida 3, Duke 0
    Auburn 3, Nebraska 1
    Auburn 3, ULM 0
    Illinois 3, Kentucky 2
    Missouri 3, Idaho State 0
    Missouri 3, Arkansas State 0
    UALR 3, Mississippi State 1
    SEMO 3, Mississippi State 1
    Ole Miss 3, George Washington 1
    Georgia 3, TCU 0
    Georgia 3, Furman 0
    Texas A&M 3, North Dakota 1


    Alabama Falls in Straight Sets

    WEST POINT, N.Y. – In its second match of the Black Knights Invitational, the Alabama volleyball team suffered a 3-0 (17-25, 22-25, 19-25) loss to the Washington State Cougars. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 1-1 on the season. 
     
    Sophomore outside hitter Laura Steiner paced the Tide with nine kills, while Krystal Rivers and Brittany Thomas had eight kills each. Rivers did not commit a hitting error in the match and posted a .533 hitting percentage, converting eight times on 15 swings. Sierra Wilson had a team-high 33 assists and Thomas led the team with 11 digs. 
     
    Washington State controlled the first set from start to finish, closing out the Tide 25-17 to open the match. The Cougars had a .400 (16-4/30) hitting percentage in the first set, while holding Alabama to a .192 (11-6/26) mark in the frame. In the second set, Alabama opened a 15-8 lead over the Cougars. However, the Cougars responded with a 17-7 run to close out the set for a 25-22 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match. 
     
    In the third set, Alabama trailed 17-14 before getting even at 18-18. From there, the Cougars went on a 7-1 run to close out the set and take the match in straight sets. Washington State had a .538 (15-1/26) hitting percentage in the final set, while the Tide hit .346 (12-3/26) in the frame.
     
    Alabama was held to a .223 hitting percentage, as the Cougars collected eight blocks in the match. WSU posted a .347 mark in the match, as outside hitters Jaicee Harris and Kyra Holt had match highs with 11 kills each. WSU setter Camryn Irwin had a match-high 35 assists and Kate Sommer tied Harris for match-high honors with 12 digs. 
     
    Alabama wraps up play in the Black Knights Classic tonight at 6 p.m. CT when they take on Army at the Gillis Field House. 
     

    Like Alabama volleyball on Facebook, follow it on Twitter @AlabamaVball and Instagram (alabamavball).

    Alabama Women’s Volleyball Closes Black Knights Invite with a 3-1 win over Army

    WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Alabama women’s volleyball team closed out the Black Knights Invitational with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-21) win over Army on Saturday night from the Gillis Field House. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 2-1 on the season.

    Alabama got a balanced attack as four players finished the match with at least 10 kills. The Tide posted a .366 hitting percentage, with four players hitting over .300 in the four sets. Army hit .279 in the match, after posting a .405 mark in the opening set.

    Leading the offensive charge for the Tide was redshirt freshman Krystal Rivers, who had 15 kills and a .600 (15-3/20) hitting percentage in the match. Rivers also added three total blocks, with two solo and one assisted block. Rivers led the Tide with 36 kills in the tournament to average 3.27 kills per set in the three matches.  

    Brittany Thomas notched her first career double-double with 11 kills and a team-high 13 digs and finished the match with a .320 hitting percentage. Laura Steiner added 12 kills and Katherine White chipped in with 10 kills and a .471 hitting percentage. Sierra Wilson posted her eighth career double-double with a season-high 45 assists and 10 digs.

    For the Black Knights, Kerry Horan led all players with 16 kills, and Olivia Fairfield had 12 kills and Nicole Perri added 11. Setter Mary Vaccaro had a match-high 48 assists and libero D.J. Phee had a match-best 15 digs.

    Alabama struggled defensively in the opening set in dropping the set 25-23, while allowing Army to hit .405 to start the set. The defense stepped up in the second set by holding the Black Knights to a .067 hitting mark en route to a 25-17 win, evening the match at 1-1.

    After posting six kills in the first two sets, Rivers sparked the Tide with seven kills and hit .875 (7-0/8) in the third set, as the Tide hit .467 as a team. Alabama closed out the third set with a 10-1 run to win the set 25-14.

    Thomas and White had five kills each in the fourth set and Steiner had four of her 12 kills in the final set. Rivers put the exclamation point on the match when she put down the final kill of the night to finish off the Black Knights with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.

    Alabama returns to action next week when it participates in the Florida International Tournament. The Crimson Tide will open the tournament against Houston Baptist on Friday, Sept. 6, with an 8 a.m. CT match. The Tide will then play Florida International at 2 p.m. CT later that day and wrap up the event on Saturday with an 11 a.m. CT match against UNC-Wilmington.


     



    Iowa State Gets By Texas A&M, 3-1

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Texas A&M sophomore opposite hitter Sierra Patrick tallied a career-high 20 kills, and redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers posted nine blocks, but the 15th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones pulled away for a tightly contested 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 27-25 victory this morning at the UND Classic at the Sioux Center.
     
    With the win, Iowa State clinched the tournament title with a 3-0 record. The Aggies (1-1) close out the tournament against host North Dakota at 7 p.m. tonight. Free live video of the UND match will be available at BigSkyConf.com.
     
    There were eight ties and four lead changes early in the first set between the two former Big 12 Conference foes. ISU took its largest lead early, scoring three consecutive points to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The Aggies countered with four unanswered points to go up, 5-3, but the lead was short lived as an A&M ball handling error and back-to-back kills by ISU put the Cyclones up, 6-5. 
     
    A&M tied the score four times before taking a 13-12 lead on an ace by senior setter Allie Sawatzky. The Cyclones immediately tied the score at 13-13 on a kill, but A&M countered with back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak and Sawatzky, giving the Aggies a lead they would not relinquish.
     
    The Aggies, who outhit ISU .429 to .257 in the set, built their largest lead at 22-17 following a kill by Lowak, but a service error and a Cyclone kill put the Cyclones within 22-19. Sawatzky then posted her fifth kill of the frame and ISU hit wide to put the Aggies at set point. The Cyclones got two kills to cut the margin to 24-21 before Patrick put down a kill from the left side to seal the victory. 
     
    A&M scored the first three points of the second set, getting kills from Lowak, Babers and Patrick. The Aggies went on to build their biggest lead at 7-3 following a kill by sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan on the slide attack, but ISU eventually tied the score at 10-10 and took its first lead of the second set at 12-11 as an A&M attack sailed wide. Patrick returned the lead to the Aggies with a kill and a solo block, but it would be A&M’s last lead. ISU got a kill and A&M hit into the net as the Cyclones went up, 14-13. A&M tied the score at 14-14 and 15-15 on kills by Sullivan before ISU mounted a 4-0 run to build its largest lead, 19-15. 
     
    The Maroon and White rallied late, scoring three consecutive points following a kill apiece by Babers and Patrick and an ace by senior libero Kelsey Kinley. ISU, which outhit the Aggies, .429 to .294 in the stanza, then scored two points to be serving for the set. Patrick staved off one set point, tooling the block for a kill, before Victoria Hurtt put down a kill to give the Cyclones the 25-22 win and even the match at a set apiece. 
     
    There were nine ties and four lead changes in the third set, with Lowak giving the Aggies their biggest lead at 9-7 following a solo block and a kill. A&M maintained its two-point lead at 15-13 before ISU mounted the longest run of the match, reeling off six unanswered points to take a 19-15 lead. The Cyclones later held a 24-21 advantage, but Patrick staved off two sets points and put the Aggies within 24-23 on back-to-back kills before a kill by Tenisha Matlock capped the set for ISU and gave the Cyclones a 2-1 lead in the match.
     
    Iowa State controlled the first half of the fourth set, forcing A&M to call its second timeout with the Cyclones leading 18-11. Lowak came out of the timeout and got a kill from the back row to spark a four-point run by the Aggies. A&M continued to chip away at the lead, and two consecutive kills by Patrick tied the score at 22, the first tie since 6-6. 
     
    Following ISU’s second timeout, the Cyclones scored two points and were serving for the match leading 24-22, but Patrick, who hit .514 for the match, once again got consecutive kills to knot the score at 24-24. The teams traded kills and were tied at 25-25 when A&M hit wide and then hit into the ISU block to give the Cyclones the 27-25 win and the match.
     
    The Cyclones outhit A&M .261 to .255, in the match and led in kills, 66-56. ISU also led in digs, 69-52, while A&M held the advantage in blocks, 12-4.
     
    Lowak joined Patrick in double-figure kills with a career-high 11 kills and tallied her first career double-double, tallying a team-high 13 digs. Sawatzky also notched a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs. 
     
    Matlock led the Cyclones with 20 kills, and senior libero Kristen Hahn led all players with 23 digs.
     
    Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter by following @AggieVolleyball.



    Ole Miss Drops Heartbreaker to Maryland

    WASHINGTON – Ole Miss (1-1) got off to a great start Saturday afternoon against Maryland (2-0) at the GW Invitational in Washington, D.C., but could not close out the Terrapins late and lost a heartbreaker 3-2 (25-13, 25-23, 19-25, 22-25, 11-15) at the Charles E. Smith Center.
     
    “We learned a little bit about ourselves and did some good things along the way,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “In the fourth set we didn’t hold on to the lead, and in the fifth set we had the lead at 9-7 but didn’t execute down the stretch. That is something we definitely have to address.”
     
    Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan paced the Rebels with a double-double, recording a team-high tying 12 kills and a team-high 17 digs. Junior Marie-Pierre Bakima also had a double-double for Ole Miss with 12 kills and 11 digs. Freshman setter Aubrey Edie passed out 37 assists, and sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte had 11 kills and a pair of solo blocks.
     
    The Rebels came out flying in the first set, jumping on the Terrapins early and never letting up throughout. Ole Miss stretched its lead to as many as 13 points and won the set by a 25-13 count. Ole Miss led throughout the entirety of the set.
     
    Ole Miss showed its fight in the second set, staving off a nine-point deficit at 17-8 to score 17 of the next 23 points to win the set 25-23. Maryland opened the set by scoring eight of the first 10 points, forcing the Rebels to use their first timeout of the set. Trailing by nine at 17-8, Ole Miss scored six of the next seven points after using its final timeout, and cut the deficit to four at 18-14. Ole Miss finally tied the set at 21 points apiece with a solo block from Nakeyta Clair, and then took the lead on the next point thanks to an attacking error by the Terrapins. Leading 24-23, Ole Miss closed out the set with a kill from Clair.
     
    Maryland took an early lead in the third set and never trailed throughout the entirety of the set. Ole Miss cut its deficit to one point at 16-15, but could not tie the match and Maryland won 25-19.
     
    As opposed to the previous two sets, Ole Miss took an early lead in the fourth set. The Rebels stretched their lead to seven points at 13-6, forcing the Terrapins to use their final timeout of the set. Trailing 21-16, Maryland went on a 6-0 run to take a 22-21 lead, its first of the set, and force Ole Miss to use its second timeout. Maryland continued its run after the break, and won the set 25-22 to force a fifth and deciding set.
     
    After a back-and-forth start to the set that saw the two teams share seven ties and exchange four lead changes, the Rebels went on a 3-0 run to take a 9-7 lead and cause Maryland to call timeout. Maryland came out of the timeout on a 5-0 run to take a 12-9 lead, and went on to take the final set by a score of 15-11.
     
    Ole Miss will close out its Saturday doubleheader against George Washington at 6 p.m. CT. The match will have an added note of interest, as senior middle blocker Kellie Goss will be facing her twin sister, Rachael, who is an outside hitter for the Colonials.
     
    For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps of each of the Rebels’ two matches Saturday at the GW Invitational, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.



    LSU Claims Four-Set Win Over UC Davis

    BATON ROUGE – Malorie Pardo dished out a career-high 68 assists to go along with 13 digs and sparked Cati Leak and Desiree Elliott to career performances as the LSU volleyball team picked up a four-set victory over UC Davis [29-31, 25-19, 27-25, 25-23] Saturday to open day two of the Tiger Classic at the Maravich Center. 
     
    The Tigers have turned in a winning record on opening weekend during 13 of the last 14 seasons since 2000 under head coach Fran Flory. It was the first all-time meeting between LSU (2-0) and UC Davis (0-2) in volleyball.  
     
    “This was a really difficult match to play because UC Davis is a great ball control team,” head coach Fran Flory said. “They have some great, quirky hitters and their hitters have great shot selections so they’re going to hit the most difficult shot for us to defend almost every single time. That really frustrated the defensive side of our team. I was really proud of our offense and our efficiency, and obviously Cati (Leak) and Desiree (Elliott) – they did an amazing job.”
     
    Leak cranked a career-best 31 kills on 62 swings and her .452 hitting percentage was her third-highest career output. The last time a LSU player amassed 30 kills in a match was Carmis Frankis, who buried 30 kills during a four-set loss to South Carolina on Oct. 23, 1998.
     
    “We don’t want to have to rely on her (Leak) that much, but thank goodness we could in this match,” Flory said. “The key stat on 62 swings was she has a .500 kill percentage. To only have three errors on 62 swings is an amazing accomplishment as well in her first true season hitting outside against a really difficult team to score on. I’m really proud of the variety of shots she hit and the choice of shots in certain situations. She’s going to mature into a great, great player for us.”
     
    “Cati comes out onto the floor confident,” Elliott said. “We all rely on her to kill the ball. She’s doing amazing things for our team for sure, and we really look up to her.” 
     
    Elliott provided 22 kills on a .487 hitting ratio and reeled in 12 digs to compile her first career double dip. The 22 kills equaled her second-highest career total and enabled her to move past former All-American Lauren DeGIrolamo for 19th place on LSU’s all-time list. Emily Ehrle and Madi Mahaffey tallied six kills apiece, while Mahaffey added four blocks. 
     
    LSU’s back row unit was led by Katie Lindelow’s career-high 28 digs, and the Tigers came away with a solid 65 percent sideout efficiency. Laura Whalen recorded 10 digs and was a perfect 26-for-26 on her reception attempts. 
     
    Kaylin Squyres (24 kills, 10 digs) and Devon Damelio (15 kills, 16 digs) notched double-doubles to lead UC Davis. 
     
    “Katie is just learning to play that role,” Flory said. “She doesn’t know just how to do that yet. Katie’s a hitter, she has a hitter mentality and a libero position is a position of finesse. It’s going to take a few matches to get into that position. I’m not going to take her out of the possibility of hitting some for us during the season. The goal for the weekend is to keep her in the libero spot and give some other people the chance to mature and gain experience passing. I thought she managed passing and set tempo really well which is why she’s wearing that different colored jersey.”
     
    The opening stanza featured 18 ties and six lead changes as both team came out firing on all cylinders and connected for over a .300 hitting percentage. Neither team led by more than two points during the frame. Trailing 24-22, LSU pieced together Elliott and Pardo kills sandwiched between an UC Davis hitting miscue to grab a 25-24 edge. The Aggies rode the right arm of Squires to three kills and converted on their seventh set point to secure the 31-29 win. 
     
    LSU fired back and led wire-to-wire in set two to even the match. The Tigers used consecutive Whalen aces to go along with two Elliott kills and two Elliott blocks to build a 17-8 advantage. UC Davis would get as close as 23-19. After a LSU timeout, Mahaffey and Elliott responded with back-to-back kills to tuck away the 25-19 victory. 
     
    Once again, the Tigers got an early momentum lift as Elliott and Leak teamed for six quick kills to vault LSU to a 7-2 edge during the third set. UC Davis chipped away and used a 5-1 run late in the frame to turn a 23-20 deficit into a 25-24 advantage. The Tigers regrouped with kills from Leak, Elliott and Leak in succession to close out the 27-25 comeback win. The Elliott-Leak duo combined for 16 of LSU’s 20 kills in the frame. 
     
    The Tigers scored six of the first seven points to begin set four capped by a Lindelow ace. LSU stayed ahead throughout the stanza, but UC Davis got back to within a single point four different times with the latest being at 24-23. However, an Aggie service error put the Purple and Gold into the win column.  
     
    “The talk at halftime from Coach (Flory) helped,” Leak said. “It helped us realize we do need to stay as a team throughout the entire match. Not that we don’t mean to not do that, but she helped us stay reminded of that. Doing that kept their runs at a low.”
     
    LSU wraps up the Tiger Classic later tonight against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant San Diego State. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. from the Maravich Center. Live video and live stats are available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
     
    For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.
     

    Admission to all 2013 home matches at the Maravich Center are free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.

     

    Blocking Vaults LSU to Tiger Classic Title

    BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team racked up 18 blocks, nine apiece from Briana Holman and Madi Mahaffey, as the Tigers battled their way to a five-set victory over San Diego State [25-17, 18-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11] to claim the Tiger Classic championship Saturday at the Maravich Center.

    With the victory, LSU (3-0) secured its first undefeated weekend since 2010. The last time the Tigers faced San Diego State (2-1) was during the 1991 season when LSU went to its last NCAA Final Four.

    “I said it before the match that we have to be patient with our blocking,” head coach Fran Flory said. “It’s a work in progress, and it’s going to show up at some point. I really didn’t expect it to happen tonight, but I’m certainly happy that it did. We were very disciplined, and we did a really good job of getting in front of their hitters in key situations. We weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we did a great job of taking away their hitters best opportunities and making them hit a secondary shot. Ultimately, that’s the goal of every blocker.”

    Offensively, Holman ripped a team-leading and career-best 15 kills on a .359 hitting percentage. Cati Leak, the Tiger Classic MVP, added her third double-double of the weekend. She buried 14 kills and reeled in 12 digs.

    Desiree Elliott and Malorie Pardo collected Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team honors. Pardo handed out 41 assists to go along with eight digs, while Elliott turned in a balanced effort with nine kills, six digs and five blocks. The 41 helpers brought Pardo’s career total to 2,441, and she is 18 assists away from passing Luciana Santana (1992-95) for sixth place on LSU’s all-time list. Elliott’s nine spikes enabled her to pull within 30 kills of Meagan Davis (1998-2001) for the No. 18 position on the program’s leaderboard.

    Laura Whalen and Katie Lindelow fueled LSU’s back row group with 14 and 12 digs, respectively.

    San Diego State had three players notch double figure kills headed by Raegan Shelton’s 22 spikes. Johnna Fouch distributed a match-high 56 assists whereas Courtney Vaccarello sprawled out for a match-best 25 digs for the Aztecs.

    Next up, LSU travels to the Rice Invitational to begin a stretch of three consecutive weekends on the road. The Tigers will square off with Arkansas-Little Rock [Friday – 4 p.m.], Texas A&M-Corpus Christi [Saturday – 10 a.m.] and host Rice [Saturday – 7 p.m.]. Live audio and live stats will be available for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.

    For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.

    Admission to all 2013 home matches at the Maravich Center are free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.
     



    Tennessee Falls to Butler

    CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Tennessee fell to Butler, 0-3 (22-25, 21-25, 18-25) on the final day of the Cincinnati Invitational at Fifth Third Arena. 
     
    Senior Ellen Mullins and freshman Ashley Mariani earned All-Tournament honors. Through the tournament, Mullins led the team with 72 digs, averaging 6.55 scoops per set. Mariani had a team-best 38 kills over the two days and averaged 3.45 per set. She hit at a .205 clip through the three matches.
     
    "We really rely on Ellen Mullins," head coach Rob Patrick said. "She averaged 6.5 digs per set, which is fantastic. She's really anchored our defense with her great passing and controlling the whole back row. She has a lot of experience and a lot of confidence after playing with the USA A2 team this past summer."
     
    "Coming in as a freshman, Ashley Mariani is really do a fantastic job playing about as low-error as you can for a young lady, leading us in kills for the second day in a row and hitting for a nice percentage. We're trying to expand her offense as we go along but she's really surprised me with her consistency this early in her career and I'm really happy for the both of them and how they played this weekend."
     
    On Saturday, the Lady Vols were once again led by Mariani who recorded 14 kills, hitting .290 on the day. The 6-foot-1 middle blocker from Arlington, Texas, has registered 10 or more kills in all three games this season. Freshman Jamie Lea tallied her first double-double as she laid down 10 kills and scooped up 11 digs. Junior Shealyn Kolosky added eight kills, hitting at a .316 clip.
     
    Sophomore Lexi Dempsey dished out 37 assists on the day, while Mullins posted 20 digs.
     
    "We knew Butler was going to a play very consistent, low-error game and they did that," Patrick said. "What I told the team before the match started was this match is going to come down to two things, how we well dig and how many errors we make. We did a great job in the digging category, led by Ellen Mullins again, but we just made a few unforced errors that caused us to lose some close matches, and could never continue the momentum on some of the point runs we were starting to put together. A lot of that has to do with the youth of the team. They're still getting comfortable playing Division I volleyball."
     
    Tennessee and Butler battled back and forth the first set before the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to go up 13-9. Kills from the freshmen corps of Raina Hembry, Mariani and Lea, along with senior Whitney Heeres gave the Lady Vols momentum and tied it back up at 16-16. Butler pulled away going on a 4-0 run and eventually taking the first set, 22-25. Mariani laid down six kills in the first, hitting .417. Hembry and Heeres each hit at a .400 clip during the first set, while Mullins scooped up nine digs.
     
    During the second set, Mariani recorded four kills, hitting .378. Kolosky registered three kills on seven attempts, hitting at a .429 clip. As a team, the Orange & White hit .222, the best on the day.
     
    The Lady Vols jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third set, before dueling back and forth with the Bulldogs for the lead. The two teams were tied at 16-16 before Butler gained three points off two UT errors and a Bulldog kill. Tennessee came back with two points, but fell in the third and final set, 18-25.
     
    Tennessee returns to action Thursday, Sept. 5, when the team takes on Chattanooga at the Country Inns & Suites Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. 



    Gamecocks Sweep High Point

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team continued its hot start to the season as it swept High Point on Saturday afternoon by the scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-21 in front of a crowd of 1,026 at the Volleyball Competition Facility to claim its third-straight Gamecock Invitational title.
     
    The Gamecocks, who moved to 3-0 on the season, handed High Point (2-1) its first loss by holding the Panthers to a .095 hitting percentage and spreading the ball around offensively, as five South Carolina players finished the match with five or more kills.
     
    “I like our potential a lot,” South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson said. “I think we still have a lot of work to do, but I think we are efficient, which is really important in our gym. We serve tough but we don’t miss a lot. We swing away and don’t make a lot of errors. We are in the mode of letting the other team hurt themselves and not hurting ourselves. I think that’s why we are hitting at a high percentage and are keeping other teams at a low percentage. I’m excited that we are buying into that.”
     
    Senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin was named tournament MVP after finishing the match with seven kills, five assists and four digs. She finished the tournament with 39 kills. Sophomore setter Kellie McNeil, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, had an excellent all-around performance. She recorded eight kills on 10 attacks by successfully dumping the ball at the net and also tallied 25 assists and three block assists. Freshman Dessaa Legros continued her solid play as she finished with eight kills, while sophomores Sarah Blomgren and Darian Dozier added seven and five kills, respectively. Dozier also had a huge night blocking, finishing with eight block assists. Junior Michaela Christiaansen recorded a team-high 10 digs.
     
    Junior outside hitter Kristin Heldt led the way for High Point, producing 12 kills and 10 digs, while senior setter Maddie Simpson dished out 19 assists.
     
    Blomgren set the tone from the start for the Gamecocks in the first set as she delivered a kill to give her team a lead it would not relinquish. South Carolina built a 12-6 lead before High Point went on a 4-1 run to cut its deficit to three points. But the Gamecocks answered with a 10-3 run to push its lead to double digits at 23-13. The Panthers were unable to get closer than six points the rest of the way, as Legros finished off the set with a kill to give the Gamecocks a 25-18 win. Legros led the attack in opening frame with five kills.
     
    South Carolina showed no signs of slowing down in the second set as it built 13-5 lead early, including a pair of kills by Thévenin. The Gamecocks went on to extend their lead to double figures for the second-straight set, as McNeil set Blomgren up for a kill to give South Carolina a 20-10 advantage. Dozier tallied the final point of the set as she threw down an overpass for a kill to give the Gamecocks a 25-17 win.
     
    The third set went back and forth, with eight ties and five lead changes. With South Carolina leading 21-18, High Point pulled to within one after a kill by Chelsea Davis and an attack error on the Gamecocks. However, the Gamecocks closed out the frame on a 4-1 run to complete the sweep.
     
    South Carolina returns to action next weekend in the Big Orange Bash hosted by rival Clemson in Clemson, S.C. The Gamecocks will take on the Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m. and will face Furman (12 p.m.) and Winthrop (4 p.m.) on Saturday.



    Arkansas Downs UMKC in Straight Sets

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team completed an undefeated weekend Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 win (25-23, 25-22, 33-31) over UMKC at Barnhill Arena. With the victory, the Razorbacks improved to 3-0 this year and clinched the team title at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational. Junior Meredith Hays paced the offense with a match-high 18 kills while senior Raymariely Santos notched her second double-double performance of the season with 28 assists and 10 digs.
     
    “It’s always good to start the season off with a championship and undefeated,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “It was a great weekend of volleyball and our players showed great resilience. We basically played all three matches in a 24-hour span but our players were warriors this weekend. I’m really proud of them.”
     
    In the extended third game, the Razorbacks saved six set points and had four match points before cashing in on their fifth opportunity. Facing a pair of UMKC set points at 24-22, Hays found the floor with back-to-back kills to even the score; the junior transfer had nine of her match-high 18 kills in the third set. With the score at tied 31-31, Santos went to Hays on consecutive plays and she delivered with the final two points of the match.
     
    In game one, Arkansas won 11 of the last 13 points—including the final six of the set—to erase a late seven-point deficit. The visitors led 21-14 for their largest lead of the set. Hays and freshman Danielle Harbin tallied three kills each during the Razorbacks’ run. Harbin finished the match with 14 kills on a .417 hitting percentage. Hays’ kill to give Arkansas the 24-23 advantage was its first lead of the match. The Razorbacks registered a .317 hitting efficiency in the opener.
     
    Despite winning four of the first five points to begin the second, the Razorbacks found themselves trailing by as much as four after a UMKC kill put the visitors ahead, 15-11. Arkansas chipped away until pulling even at 21-all with a kill off the hand of Harbin. The final four points ended in favor of the Razorbacks with Hays and sophomore Summer Morgan clinching the set, 25-22, and the 2-0 match lead with a tandem block.
     
    “It feels good to win,” Hays said after the match. “We’re just getting started. We’ve been working through preseason but we hadn’t seen any other team. It’s good we came out 3-0 this weekend but we definitely have some work to do.”
     
    The Razorbacks play three matches next week beginning with a Sept. 3 road date at Oklahoma. First serve of the midweek matchup is slated for 7 p.m. (CT) at the McCasland Field House in Norman. Arkansas will close out its week with a home-and-home series against Kansas with the Razorbacks hosting Sept. 5 at Barnhill Arena.
     
    For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.



    No. 9 Gators Sweep Duke

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 9 Florida volleyball team stayed perfect on the season, sweeping Duke in three sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-18) Saturday afternoon to take home their 13th Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Title. Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann was named the MVP of the event for the second consecutive season after hitting .630 on the weekend, including an errorless .652 (15-0-23) against Duke.
     
    Alex Holston, a freshman right-side hitter from Olney, Md., hit .436 (20-3-39) on the weekend to set a new record for a Gator freshman in their debut weekend. Against the Blue Devils, Holston hit an errorless .545 (6-0-11) on the afternoon. The Gator rookie joined Mann and sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek on the Campus USA All-Tournament Team.
     
    QUICK HITS
     
    *         Florida tallied only four errors on the afternoon, tying for the lowest in a match in program history. All three instances were at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Gators also turned in just four errors against South Carolina State in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament (12/3/10) and against Auburn (11/8/09).
     
    *         Živa Recek slammed 29 kills on the weekend to earn her second straight Campus USA Invite All-Tournament Team honor.
     
    *         The Gators remained unbeaten in Campus USA Credit Union Invitational play. UF improved their record to 26-0 all-time in the Campus USA Invite.
     
    *         Florida outscored opponents 192-106.5 on the weekend.
     
    UP NEXT: The Gators head to the Lone Star State on a three-match road swing. Florida travels to San Antonio to face UT-San Antonio at 5:30 p.m. ET Thursday before participating in the final installment of the Nike Big Four Classic. The Gators venture to Austin to take on the Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Florida faces 2012 Final Four participant Duke on Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET. Both of the Nike Big Four matches will air tape-delayed on the Longhorn Network with Chris Marlowe and Nell Fortner on the call.


     

    Auburn volleyball team stuns No. 10 Nebraska 3-1
     
    ST. LOUIS - Auburn's volleyball team posted one of the biggest wins in program history Saturday with a 3-1 upset of No. 10 Nebraska (25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23) at Chaifetz Arena in their second match of the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic.

    The Tigers wrapped up the tournament title later in the day with a 3-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe (25-20, 25-15, 25-17).

    "Obviously, coming out 3-0 and winning this tournament is a huge plus," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We had three good matches here. We were challenged in a lot of different ways, lot of different styles from the three teams we played. I'm really happy the way we fought through a lot of tight games and we ended up coming out on the good side of most of them. I think that says a lot about the mentality of the team and it looks good for the future."

    It was only the second win over a ranked opponent in program history for Auburn (3-0), whose only previous such victory came over No. 24 Kentucky at home during the 2010 season. Nebraska (1-1) had a higher hitting percentage than the Tigers (.218-.208), but a stingy Auburn defense and troubles in the service game for the Huskers proved to be the difference.

    "It's a huge win," Nold said. "Nebraska's got a great program. I thought we did a great job of staying really aggressive when we really weren't playing that well. I thought before the game that we have two very different styles facing each other, and that if we stuck to our style of being a scrappy, aggressive team, that would probably play in our favor. The girls never looked down and kept coming at them, and we got the win."

    Nebraska was aggressive on serve, scoring six aces and converting numerous Auburn overpasses into easy kills, but the Huskers also committed 14 service errors, including errors on set point in all three games Auburn won.

    Senior Katherine Culwell led Auburn with 17 kills and 16 digs, recording a double-double for the second-straight match. She was also in on five blocks, had five assists and recorded one service ace. Fellow seniors Camila Jersonsky and Kathia Rud had nine kills apiece with Jersonsky recording five blocks as well.

    Culwell was named tournament MVP, and Jersonsky and fellow senior Sarah Wroblicky were named to the all-tournament team.

    Sophomore Alyssa Ivey posted her first Auburn double-double with 26 assists and 14 digs on the day, and senior Chelsea Wintzinger also recorded a double-double with 18 assists and 11 digs. Courtney McDonald and Kia Bright had eight kills apiece, and Stephanie Campbell added five kills and three blocks. Wroblicky shared the team lead in digs with 16.

    Nebraska was led by Tennessee transfer Kelsey Robinson with 18 kills and 18 digs, and Kelsey Fien added 13 kills for the Huskers.

    The two teams traded blows for much of the first set, going on a pair of mini-runs with Culwell serving. The Tigers would finally take an 18-15 lead after a 4-0 run, but Nebraska fought back to tie things up at 22-all. From there, though, a kill from Rud and a Nebraska error gave Auburn a set point opportunity, and a service error by Robinson gave Auburn the set. Culwell had six of Auburn's 18 kills in the opening frame, and the Auburn defense was stout with 28 digs in the set.

    Set two looked to be a Nebraska blowout. The Huskers capitalized on poor hitting and serve-receive by the Tigers to storm to a 20-7 lead. But the Tigers refused to capitulate and went on an 11-1 run, thanks in large part to several Nebraska errors, to cut the deficit to 21-18. Nebraska would then have five set point opportunities at 24-19, but Auburn fought off three of them to get within two points at 24-22. Nebraska finally put the Tigers away with a 25-22 win, despite the Tigers finishing the game on a 15-5 run.

    That momentum seemed to carry over to the third set, which saw the Tigers fall behind by as many as four points at 14-10, but Auburn would go on an 8-2 run paced by two kills and a block from Jersonsky to take an 18-16 lead. Nebraska would tie the score twice more, but kills from Bright and Jersonsky gave the Tigers a set point opportunity. After a Nebraska block fought off the first game point, Robinson once again erred on her serve to give the Tigers another 25-23 win.

    The fourth set saw Auburn gain a small early advantage and hang onto it throughout most of the set. Auburn padded its lead at 12-9 and forced a Nebraska timeout, but the Huskers would rally to tie the score at 15-all. From there, the teams traded blows for the next 12 rallies to see another tie score at 21-all. But a bad Nebraska set followed by a Jersonsky kill gave Auburn a 23-21 advantage, and two more Nebraska service errors gave Auburn the win, 25-23.

    Auburn will play one more match this weekend before returning home. The Tigers will make a short drive across the Mississippi River to take on SIU Edwardsville at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Live audio will be available through AuburnTigers.com, and live stats will be available at siuecougars.com. In addition, fans can follow @AUVolleyball for updates throughout the match and all season long.

    Auburn Sweeps ULM, Claims St. Louis Tournament Title

    ST. LOUIS - Auburn's volleyball team swept through the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic this weekend, defeating ULM 3-0 on Saturday afternoon (25-20, 25-15, 25-17) to claim the tournament title after earning a historic win over No. 10 Nebraska earlier in the day.

    The Tigers (3-0) out-hit ULM .261-.106, despite a less-than-stellar third set, and held the Warhawks (0-3) to just 28 kills while putting down 43 of their own.

    Senior Katherine Culwell was named the tournament MVP after racking up a team-high 42 kills in the three matches (4.2/set) and hitting for a .310 percentage. She also had two double-doubles on the weekend and finished with seven kills and 10 digs against ULM.

    Camila Jersonsky and Sarah Wroblicky, both seniors, were also named to the all-tournament team. Jersonsky had a team-high nine kills against ULM and hit .364 with just one error. For the weekend, she hit .380 with 23 kills and shared the team lead with seven blocks. Wroblicky led the team with 49 digs (4.90/set) and had 16 in the win over ULM.

    Five Tigers had seven or more kills against the Warhawks. Freshman Stephanie Campbell, a St. Louis area native, made the most of her return to her hometown with eight kills and a team-best .438 hitting percentage. For the weekend, she hit a team-high .432 with 18 kills. Another freshman, Kia Bright, had seven kills, as did senior Kathia Rud. Courtney McDonald added five kills to the Auburn effort, and setters Chelsea Wintzinger and Alyssa Ivey had 16 assists each.

    Auburn will play one more match in the area before returning home Sunday. The Tigers will make the short drive across the Mississippi River to face SIU Edwardsville at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. AuburnTigers.com will have a live broadcast, and live stats will be available at siuecougars.com.
     


     

    UK Falls in Five-Set Thriller Despite Career-Night from Billings

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – A career-high 26-kill effort from senior Whitney Billings was not enough to propel the 17th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team past Illinois in a thrilling five-set match in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday night. Billings posted the career-high tally to couple with 13 digs in her second-straight double-double effort. Additionally, the Helena, Ala., native reached the 1,000-kill plateau to become the 14th player in program history to achieve the feat.

    “We were closer to our potential tonight, but we still have some things to iron out” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Whitney Billings was very good tonight, and we need other people to step up and terminate balls when we need points. There were a lot of great plays at times tonight. We have to give credit to Illinois for stepping up in sets four and five after trailing 2-1.”

    Kentucky falls to 0-2 to begin the year, while Illinois, who is receiving votes in the preseason poll, improves to 2-1 on the young season. The Wildcats wrap up the opening weekend of action with a date against the Long Beach State 49ers on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

    In the decisive fifth set, Kentucky opened the scoring with a kill from Billings. UK would extend the early advantage to a 3-1 edge when Billings got another kill. Illinois would then go on a 4-0 run to earn a 4-3 edge and would never yield the lead again. Kentucky got back to within two at 10-8 on a kill from sophomore Shelby Workman, but Illinois would go on a 5-1 run for the victory.

    No other player reached double-figures in the kills’ column, as sophomore Sara Schwarzwalder and junior Lauren O’Conner were the players with next highest totals at seven kills each. Schwarzwalder led the defensive charge with seven blocks on the night.

    Four players tallied 10 or more digs with Billings reaching 13. Freshman Anni Thomasson posted a career-high 15 scoops to lead the column. Sophomore Shelby Workman notched 11 and junior Jackie Napper had 10.

    Sophomore setter Morgan Bergren dished out a career-high 50 assists to go with six blocks and five kills.

    Kentucky got off to a great start by claiming 25-20 opening set victory. UK notched 13 kills on .256 hitting in the frame with Billings leading the charge with four including her 1,000th career hammer. Thomasson paced the defensive effort with seven digs in the stanza.

    Senior Alexandra Morgan opened the scoring in the first set as UK raced out to an early 2-0 lead. Kentucky would stretch its lead to 11-4 on a solo rejection from Billings. The Wildcats reached its largest spread of the opening stanza at 17-10 following an ace from Morgan. Illinois would fight back to within 23-19 before a kill from Schwarzwalder claimed the opening set in favor of Kentucky.

    Out of the break with the match tied at one set apiece, Kentucky quickly jumped out in front in the third frame to grab a 4-1 lead. The Illini fought back and knotted the score at 10 apiece and would eventually take a lead at 14-13. Kentucky fired back and tied the score at 15 before utilizing a 5-0 run highlighted by a monstrous kill from Billings to make the score 22-17 in favor of the Cats. It would be all Kentucky from there as the Blue and White went on to win the set by a 25-22 score capped by another kill from Billings.

    Billings launched six kills in the frame to pace UK to 13 kills on .241 hitting. Thomasson had four scoops to lead the defensive charge en route to the 25-22 win and a 2-1 edge in the match.

    Illinois fired back with a 25-19 second set win. The Illini captured the opening point in the frame and never looked back holding the lead from start to finish. Kentucky notched just 12 kills on a .138 percentage. Billings again led the charge with five and also led things defensively with three digs.

    The Illini fought back to force a decisive fifth frame behind a 25-19 fourth set victory.  Illinois capitalized on a .400 hitting percentage and no blocks from the Wildcats to claim the frame. Billings again led the way with seven kills in the set, with Napper picking up three digs.

    Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Seattle, Wash., from the Lexington Region. This marks the second time in three seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.
     


     

    Mizzou Volleyball Claims Tiger Invitational Title

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Mizzou volleyball team claimed the Tiger Invitational Championship after defeating both Idaho State and Arkansas State in straight sets on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 31) at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers dropped just one set in the whole tournament as they went 4-0 in the annual affair, pushing their all-time mark in Tiger Invite play to 35-3.

    Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was named Tournament Most Valuable Player for the third time in her career (2010, 2011, 2013) while classmate Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) was named to the All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Haw.) and junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) were also named to the All-Tournament team.

    Kreklow guided the team to .406 hitting and a 15.69 kills per set average and a whopping 204 kills in just 13 sets. Kreklow averaged 13.31 assists per set while adding 10 kills on just 20 attacks with 30 digs and she had 11 aces over the four matches. Henning was the team’s top offensive weapon with 61 kills (4.69 per set) on .397 hitting with 33 digs in the tournament. Kan led all outside hitters in the tournament with a .508 attack percentage while averaging 2.92 kills per set, 1.54 digs per set and nine aces. Little had just one error in four matches as she hit .633, a team-best, with 32 kills (2.46 per set) while adding seven blocks. Pitt’s Delaney Clesen, South Dakota’s Kendall Kritenbrink, Arkansas State’s Kelsey Sullivan and Idaho State’s Kylee Sessions were also named to the All-Tournament team.

    “I am pretty happy with how we came out and competed this weekend and I am really pleased with the things that we did well,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “It was nice to finally get out and play opponents to see what he had and it is pretty clear after the first weekend that we have a lot of kids that can really play. We weren’t quite as good in serve receive today and as a coach, I will always find things to nit-pick, but overall I was happy with our effort. Now it’s time to get ready for more very good teams at Yale next weekend.”

    On the weekend, freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) was also deserving of All-Tournament honors as well. Thater was sensational all weekend with 30 kills on .531 hitting while pitching in 22 blocks (1.69 per set) and four aces. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led Mizzou with 43 digs over the four matches.

    In Mizzou’s first match against Idaho State on Saturday, the Tigers hit .410 while posting a season-best 11.0 blocks as it rolled to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-20) sweep. Henning was the Tigers’ most notable performer in the win as she tallied 15 kills on 26 attacks with no errors, good for a .577 attack percentage. Little was also tremendous with six kills on just six attacks and Thater was great again with eight kills on .538 hitting as Mizzou used its middles very effectively. Thater also led Mizzou with eight total blocks (two solo, six assists) and Kreklow pitched in a season-best five blocks. Kreklow also spread 34 assists with three digs. Meister and Henning led Mizzou with seven digs apiece in the win over Idaho State. The Tigers subbed their starters out of both the second and third sets after opening substantial leads in both.

    In the second match of the day, Mizzou dominated Arkansas State to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) sweep. Henning led Mizzou with 13 kills on .290 hitting while Kan pitched in 11 kills on .588 hitting. Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) had a good match as well, tallying 12 kills on .276 hitting. Meister led all Tigers with 11 digs while Thater led all players with four blocks (two solo, two assists).

    Mizzou will return to action with four matches in the New England area, beginning with a match at Fairfield, the Tigers’ first road contest of the season, on Thursday.
     


     

    Mississippi State Drops Pair Of Matches To UALR And SEMO

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – After opening the season with a pair of sweeps against Southeast Missouri State and UALR Friday night, the Mississippi State volleyball team struggled with consistency as it dropped a pair of 3-1 decisions to SEMO and UALR Saturday in the Maroon Classic.

    In the first match of the afternoon, UALR (1-2) wasted no time taking the first set 25-22 behind a 12-6 run to end the frame. MSU (2-2) would rebound to claim a 25-23 victory in the second set.

    With the Bulldogs trailing 18-12 in the second set, MSU managed to mount a comeback behind three kills from freshman Broke Sassin, who made her career debut, and two kills from Alex Warren, who posted a career-high 14 kills in the match.

    UALR would go on to claim the third and fourth sets 25-20 and 25-17, respectively.

    Kimmy Gardiner posted a team-best 15 kills for the third-consecutive match, while Sassin also contributed 11 kills and three digs in her first collegiate action. Suzanne Horner tacked on 47 assists to go along with Roxanne McVey’s 22 digs.

    “We’ve talked about it a lot,” fifth-year MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Just freshmen having to figure out how to play a couple of matches and do well but then having to turn around the next day and still play at a high level. We gave up a lot of points. We had more kills in both matches. We had more digs in both matches. We were just giving up too many points.

    The Bulldogs struggled to the same tune in the second match against SEMO (2-1). After hitting only .019 in the first set, they fell behind early and couldn’t recover. State dropped the first two sets 25-22 and 26-24, respectively. The two sets combined to feature 26 ties and 11 lead changes.

    After the promotional break, the Bulldogs stormed out to a 16-8 lead and cruised to a 25-22 victory in the third set.

    The fourth set was much like the first two as MSU and SEMO remained deadlocked much of the frame. With the set tied at 20, a kill by the Redhawks’ Colleen Yarber ignited a 5-1 run that ended the match.

    Sophomore Taylor Scott posted her second double-double of the season with a team-best 19 kills and 15 digs. Gardiner also recorded her first-career double-double with 15 kills and 21 digs.

    Sassin picked up where she left off from the first match with 12 kills, while Horner added 48 assists. McVey remained strong and posted 29 digs.

    Gardiner and McVey garnered Maroon Classic All-Tournament team honors. Gardiner posted 64 kills, 42 digs and 5 blocks on the weekend, while McVey turned in 98 digs and 5 service aces.

    Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Classic where they will meet UT-Arlington at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, followed by a Saturday doubleheader against Tulsa and Baylor beginning at 12:30 p.m.
     


     

    Ole Miss Tops George Washington 3-1

    WASHINGTON – The Ole Miss volleyball team faced set point in the fourth set Saturday night at George Washington after once holding a late lead. The young Rebels (2-1) never wavered however, and rallied to score three straight points to cap off a 3-1 (25-19, 26-28, 25-20, 26-24) victory over the Colonials (1-2) at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.

    Freshman libero Kristen Brashear continued her match-by-match improvement with 28 digs, and sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte had seven kills and five block assists. After the match, Laporte and Brashear were each named to the GW Invitational All-Tournament team.

    Junior outside hitter Marie-Pierre Bakima recorded her second consecutive double-double with 16 kills and a dozen digs, and freshman setter Aubrey Edie recorded her first double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs to go along with her six kills.
     
    “It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a scrappy George Washington team,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “I’m really proud of the way the team played with the energy that they did throughout the match.”

    With the score tied at 12 and neither team establishing a lead great than two, Ole Miss went on a 6-1 run to take an 18-13 lead. George Washington would close the gap and pull to within one at 19-18, but the Rebels closed the set on a 6-1 run to take the first set 25-19. Edie facilitated the Rebels’ offense beautifully, dishing out 14 assists as Ole Miss hit at a .400 clip.

    The Rebels jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the second set, including the set’s first four points, but the Colonials raced back and tied the set at 10. From there, both teams exchanged the lead nine times to go along with 15 ties. Ole Miss staved off set point once and George Washington fought off set point twice before eventually taking the set 28-26 on a service ace.

    Tied 18-18, Ole Miss closed out the third set on a 7-2 run to win 25-20 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. Before the Rebels’ 7-2 run to finish the set, neither team had led by more than three in what was once again a close, competitive set. Brashear paced the Rebels defensively in the third set with eight digs.

    Ole Miss gained a four-point lead at 19-15 in a close fourth set, but George Washington fought back to take a 24-23 lead. Facing set point, the Rebels called timeout and answered after the break by scoring the next three points to win 26-24 and claim the match 3-1. Bakima finished the match strong with six kills in the fourth set.

    Ole Miss opens its home slate Sept. 6 against Kennesaw State (11:00 a.m. CT) and Georgia Southern (7:30 p.m. CT) as part of the Magnolia Invitational. The Rebels have won the tournament for each of the last six years. Ole Miss will close out the Magnolia Invitational on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT against Arkansas State.
     


     

    Georgia Sweeps Bulldog Invitational
     
    ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia volleyball team earned a pair of wins on Saturday, Aug. 31 to take home the Bulldog Invitational title. Georgia (3-0) earned a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17) win over TCU (2-1) to start the day before taking a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15) win over Furman (0-3) in the nightcap to complete the weekend sweep. The wins marked the first time since the 2007 season that a Bulldog squad has won its first three matches of the season by a score of 3-0. Jasmine Eatmon was named the Bulldog Invitational Most Valuable Player, while Lauren Teknipp earned all-tournament honors for her performance over the three matches.

    “I think that we were a great version of ourselves this weekend,” Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. “Our balance was wonderful and I could give nods to every single one of our players. It was a major team effort. When you look at individual numbers, I think Jasmine [Eatmon] and both of our right side hitters put up huge stats. We had a high level of blocking this weekend and I give a lot of credit to our setters. Overall, I think we showed a lot of maturity and I think we will continue to benefit from that throughout the season.”

    Georgia 3, TCU 0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17)

    Teknipp led all players with 10 kills, going 10-for-21 for an attack percentage of .386. Stacey Smith added nine kills, while Tirah Le’au and Brittany Northcutt registered eight kills each. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert split time as the setter, finishing with 20 and 17 kills, respectively. The Bulldogs were effective from the service line, tallying four aces, including two by Eatmon. For the second time in as many games, the Bulldogs out blocked their opponents, recording nine team blocks to TCU’s four. Leading the team at the net was Eatmon, who had three assisted blocks and one solo stop. Elena Perri and Smith each finished with three blocks, while Le’au and Northcutt finished with one solo block each. Allison Summers paced Georgia with a match-best 14 digs.

    TCU took a slight lead early in the first set before a Teknipp kill gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 6-4. The Horned Frogs came back and tied the set at six before the teams knotted the score six more times. With the scored tied at 14, a pair of Northcutt kills sparked a seven-point run that included back-to-back service aces by Eatmon and put the Bulldogs on top 19-14. A TCU kill broke the Georgia run, but the Bulldogs went on to score four of the final five points to seal the first set 25-17.

    In the second set, TCU edged out in front early, taking a 7-4 lead. Following a timeout and on the service of Baumert, Georgia scored four-straight points, including two on Teknipp kills, to take an 8-7 lead. The score knotted four times before TCU took a 15-12 lead. The Bulldogs used two kills by Smith to pull within one at 15-14 before Eatmon and Smith combined for a block that tied the score at 16. The Bulldogs retook the lead at 18-17 with an Eatmon kill and maintained it for the rest of the set. Georgia scored seven of the final 11 points, including a set-winning kill by Teknipp to take set two 25-20.

    Georgia used a dominating performance to take the third set 25-17. The Bulldogs raced out to a 9-1 lead, with the team combining for four kills and two blocks. TCU fought back to come within four at 15-11. Georgia answered by scoring the next two points to extend its lead to 17-11. TCU came back to within five at 22-17 before a Northcutt kill sparked a 3-0 run that sealed the set three win and the sweep of TCU.

    Georgia 3, Furman 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15)

    In Georgia’s 3-0 win over Furman, the Bulldogs hit .300 as a team, led by Northcutt and Teknipp, who finished with nine kills each. Smith registered eight kills, while Eatmon added seven, hitting at a .600 clip for the match. Kehoe and Baumert paced the offense, finishing with 22 and 16 assists, respectively. Eatmon and Teknipp led the Georgia defensive front, finishing with two blocks each. Chloe Buckendahl led all players with 15 digs, while Summers and Northcutt finished with 11 digs each.

    Georgia and Furman kept it close through the opening points of set one, with neither team able to gain more than a two point lead until Furman strung together a run that put it on top 9-6, forcing Georgia to call its first timeout of the set. Following the break, Georgia went on a 4-0 run that put it on top by one at 10-9. After four ties, a kill by Kehoe sparked a six-point run that gave the Bulldogs a comfortable 19-13 lead. During the run, the team combined for five kills and a service ace by Summers. Furman scored just four more points in the first set, allowing the Bulldogs to win 25-17.

    The second set proved to be just as hard fought, as Georgia and Furman tied six times before a block and a Georgia error gave Furman a slight lead at 9-7. The Bulldogs fought their way back, tying the set at 12 on a solo block by Le’au. After five more ties, Furman scored back-to-back points to move ahead 19-17, causing the Bulldogs to use a timeout. Coming out the break, the Bulldogs strung together three-consecutive points to take a 20-19 and force the Paladins to call a timeout. Furman tied the set at 22, but kills by Northcutt, Baumert and Teknipp sealed the second set 25-22 for Georgia.

    Georgia used a dominating performance in the third set to take the match 3-0. Using the serve of Northcutt, Summers and Baumert, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-3 lead that forced Furman to call an early timeout. Georgia extended its lead to 12-4 on a Teknipp kill and Furman error. The Paladins fought their way back, pulling within six at 13-7, but a kill by Northcutt ended the run. The teams traded points over the next several possessions, until a Teknipp kill sparked a 4-0 run that extended the Bulldog lead to 21-10. Desiree McCray recorded back-to-back kills, the first kills of her career, to give the Bulldogs match point at 24-14. Smith sealed the set three win and the match with a kill.

    Georgia returns to action next weekend, Sept. 6-7, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to take on Southern Miss and Nebraska. The Bulldogs will face Southern Miss on Friday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m., before taking on No. 10 Nebraska at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 7.
     


     

    Texas A&M Defeats UND, 3-1

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Texas A&M fought off a feisty North Dakota team in front of a raucous crowd of 1,375 to win 25-17, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23 in the final match of the UND Classic at the Sioux Center.

    With the win, the Aggies improve to 2-1 and take second place in the tournament. Iowa State won the tournament title with a 3-0 record, and UND (2-1) and South Dakota State (0-3) finished third and fourth, respectively. Aggie senior setter Allie Sawatzky and sophomore opposite hitter Sierra Patrick were both named to the all-tournament team.

    A&M used a seven-point run to jump out to an 8-2 lead in the opening set, with sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan posting three kills during the rally. The Aggies went on to build a 13-5 advantage before UND began chipping away at the lead.  UND got within four points three times, the last coming at 17-13 before the Aggies reeled off six consecutive points to take a 23-13 lead. UND made a late rally, scoring three straight points to get within 23-16 but was unable to defend an attack by sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak, which put the Aggies at set point. UND got a kill off the block to stay alive before redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers tipped the ball in for a kill, giving A&M a 25-17 first-set win.

    UND held an 11-9 lead in the second set when Sullivan and freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty posted a block and Lowak followed with a kill to tie the score at 11-11. UND hit long on the next play to give the Aggies their first lead since 3-2. The teams began to trade point for point until A&M scored two to go up 18-16. UND then went on a 4-1 run to retake the lead at 20-19. A&M tied the score at 20-20 and 22-all but was unable to regain the lead. UND served into the net at match point to put A&M within 24-23, but the Aggies hit long on the next play to end the set.

    A&M built a 7-3 lead in the third set, but UND rallied to take its first lead at 9-8. A&M retook the lead at 11-10 on an ace by senior setter Mariah Agre. UND followed with a block to tie the score once again, but Sullivan posted a kill on the slide attack to give the Aggies a lead they would not lose. Holding an 18-15 advantage, A&M went on a 7-1 run to close out the set, with Patrick clinching the win with her sixth kill of the frame and her 12th of the match.

    Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli tweaked the lineup to start the fourth set, moving Patrick from the right side to the left side and inserting freshman setter/opposite hitter Kaysie Shebeneck on the right. UND jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Aggies began to get on into sync. A&M first tied the score at 8-8 and took its first lead at 11-10 as Patrick tooled the block for a kill. Shebeneck and Patrick then traded kills to put A&M ahead, 13-10, which would equal the Aggies’ largest lead in the set.

    UND eventually tied the score at 21 on back-to-back kills, but Sullivan ended the rally with a kill on the slide attack, and Patrick followed with consecutive kills to put A&M at match point. After several great saves on both sides, UND got two kills to get within 24-23, forcing Corbelli to call a timeout. Patrick came out of the timeout and put down her 20th kill of the match to clinch the win for the Aggies.

    It was Patrick’s second consecutive 20-kill performance, having initially reached the career mark against Iowa State earlier in the day. Lowak and Sullivan also posted career highs in kills with 16 and 13, respectively.

    Senior libero Kelsey Kinley led the Aggies in digs with 15, and Agre and Sawatzky also reached double figures with 11 and 10, respectively, to lead A&M to a 71-64 advantage in digs. A&M also outhit UND, .238 to .219, but UND outblocked the Aggies, 14-6.

    Lexi Robinson led UND in kills with 14.

    The Aggies return to action Thursday and Friday, Sept. 5-6, at the USTA Classic at the Convocation Center in San Antonio. A&M plays two matches on Thursday, opening the tournament against Loyola Marymount at 1:30 p.m. and then returning to the court to face Lamar at 7 p.m. The Aggies conclude the tournament Friday at 7 p.m. against the host Roadrunners.