College of Charleston 3, Western Carolina 1
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Cougars struggled to hold onto late set leads, but eventually put away Western Carolina, 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 26-28, 25-17), on Sunday afternoon on the road.
College of Charleston (18-6, 9-1) nearly relinquished 24-20 and 24-17 leads in the first two sets to Western Carolina (8-17, 4-6). In the third set, that flirting with danger came back to bite CofC as a 21-11 lead evaporated into a 28-26 set loss. However, College of Charleston put the Catamounts away in the fourth set to win the match.
Darcy Dorton tied her career high with 23 kills and 14 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Sloane White continued her outstanding weekend by yet again recording 18 kills for an attack percentage of .441.
Melissa Morello reached a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs, while Emily Neideffer recorded 10 kills and four blocks.
Junior Taeler Davis recorded a new career high with 63 assists to go along with nine digs and four blocks. Senior Emily Shelton led the Cougars’ back row with 24 digs.
Western Carolina had four players reach double-digits in kills, paced by Jordan Timmerman’s 16 kills. Caitlin Piechota tallied a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs.
The Cougars and Catamounts tangled throughout most of the first set before Cougars seemingly pulled away late. Three straight points gave CofC a 19-16 lead and the visitors had WCU at set point at 24-20. However, Western scored three straight points to bring the margin to 24-23 and force a Charleston timeout. The Cougars came right out with a pass, set and cross-court kill from White to end the set for CofC, 25-23.
College of Charleston opened up a 12-12 second set with a 7-2 run to go up 19-14 after a block from Davis and Neideffer. CofC forced set point at 24-17, but the Catamounts rallied yet again, scoring six points in a row to make things tense at 24-23. For the second straight frame, CofC set White on the right side who ended the drama with a strong cross-court kill giving CofC a 25-23 win.
College of Charleston rolled to a 21-11 lead in the third set and seemed to have the match in hand. However, Western Carolina mounted a massive rally against the Cougar reserves to pull to within 23-20 and eventually tie the set at 24. CofC had set point after a Dorton kill that made the score 26-25, but an Addy George kill, CofC error and WCU service ace gave the Catamounts a 28-26 set three victory.
The Cougars got out to a lead in the fourth set and did not relinquish it. White turned into a machine with seven kills on eight swings and CofC hit .286 while holding the Catamounts to .105. A kill from Dorton ended the final set at 25-17 for a CofC victory.
Samford 3, Davidson 1
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Samford rebounded after a tough Saturday loss with a 3-1 win over Davidson Sunday afternoon in the Pete Hanna Center.
Samford (16-8, 8-2 SoCon) dropped a close third set but the offense came alive in the fourth, tallying 20 kills with only three errors for a .472 clip during the deciding frame. Katie Murphy was an offensive force in the middle, earning a career-best 21 kills on 34 swings with only one error for a stellar .588 clip. Michaela Reesor was second on the team with 17 kills, adding 16 digs for her third straight double-double, her seventh this season. Elizabeth Neisler knocked in 11 kills which vaults her to third all-time on Samford’s career kills list with 1,249. Casey Garvey added 56 assists, her second-highest total in conference this season, and Alexis Bauer led the defense with 22 digs.
Davidson (8-12, 4-6 SoCon) hung tough with the home team, owning the edge in digs 65-60 while coming back in the late stages of set three to earn the win in that frame. Preseason All-Conference selection Caroline Brown led the Wildcat offense with 13 kills with Megan Chamberlin close behind at 12 kills.
The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie in the opening set off a kill by Reesor and would not let Davidson tie it up the rest of the set. Up 5-3, Samford would knock in six in a row with Taylor Chao at the service line, including two kills and an assisted block by Murphy, to move ahead 11-3 as Davidson took a timeout. The Wildcats closed the gap out of the break, going on a 5-1 run to draw within four, down 12-8, as Samford took a timeout. Up 14-10, the Bulldogs extended the lead to eight points, up 18-10, and eventually reached set point with that same eight-point lead, up 24-16. Davidson staved off the end of the set by scoring a point but Chelsi Carter sealed it with a kill to give Samford the 25-17 win.
Set two was tightly contested, with the score tied at nine different points during the frame. Samford held a close early lead but Davidson eventually wrestled away the lead, moving up 7-6 off a kill by Brown. Samford would fight back to tie the score three different times before taking back the lead as Neisler earned a kill to make it 20-19 and force a Davidson timeout. Later, with Samford up 23-22, a kill by Lauren Hutchinson gave Samford possession at set point and Hutchinson and Reesor paired up for a block on the next rally to give the Bulldogs the 25-22 win to move ahead 2-0 in the match.
Set three was another close one, seeing five lead changes. Samford looked to build some momentum early, extending its lead to four with a 3-0 run to move ahead 12-8 as Davidson took a timeout. The Wildcats fought back, eventually taking the lead 20-17 off consecutive Samford attack errors and a kill by Chamberlin. The Bulldogs kept the match within two points, drawing within one off a kill by Reesor facing set point, down 24-23. Just like set two, a block ended the set but this time it was in Davidson’s favor as they defeated the Bulldogs, 25-23.
The Bulldogs weren’t looking to allow another comeback this weekend and the offense came out firing in set four to ensure the Samford match victory. Hutchinson would score the first point of the set and the Bulldogs would not relent the lead for the remainder of the set. The Bulldogs hit double-digits with a five-point lead, up 10-5, extending it to seven off three-consecutive kills by Murphy as Davidson took a timeout trailing 16-9. With Chao at the service line, the Bulldogs added five more unanswered points to build a 12-point lead, up 21-9. The Wildcats would only muster three more points as Samford earned a convincing 25-12 victory to seal the match, 3-1.
Georgia Southern 3, Chattanooga 0
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Kym Coley posted 14 kills, while Meredith Paskert and Nicole Jeschelnik each had 10 to lead Georgia Southern to a 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-23) Southern Conference volleyball victory over Chattanooga Sunday afternoon.
The victory was the sixth in a row for the Eagles (18-6, 9-1 SoCon) and the 100th for head coach Chad Callihan in his five-year tenure at Georgia Southern.
Coley connected on her 14 kills in just 21 swings, for a .667 hitting percentage, and added three blocks. Jeschelnik recorded 16 digs, and Paskert finished with seven. Crysten Curry tallied eight kills and three blocks, and Kate Van Dyke finished with 37 assists, nine digs, six kills and three blocks.
Briana Reid led Chattanooga (10-14, 4-5 SoCon) with 13 kills to go along with seven digs, and Bridget Camacho posted 31 assists and six digs.
After hitting .324 and holding the Mocs to just seven kills in 31 swings en route to a 25-14 win in the first set, the Eagles had to grind out the second and third games. With the score tied 24-24 in set three, Reid committed a hitting error and Moriah Bellissimo got a kill for the Eagles to open a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Mocs rallied from a 20-16 deficit in the fourth set to tie the score at 23-23 on a Kasey Talley kill. Curry answered with a kill for GSU, and Reid had an attack error to finish the match.