Samford 3, Davidson 0
Davidson, N.C. - Behind the hitting of Michaela Reesor and the defensive play of Alexis Bauer, Samford (23-8, 14-2 SoCon) defeated tournament-host Davidson 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-21) on Saturday. The Bulldogs advance to Sunday's semifinals and will face College of Charleston at 4:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year's SoCon Tournament Championship match.
Reesor recorded a team-high 15 kills and added 11 digs. Katie Murphy tallied 12 kills, while Lauren Hutchinson added 11 and libero Alexis Bauer amassed 14 digs. Setter Casey Garvey dished out 38 assists and added five digs and four kills for the Bulldogs.
Davidson (11-16, 7-9 SoCon) was led offensively by Tindall Sewell, who put down a team-high 10 kills and four blocks. Caroline Brown added eight kills, five digs, and three service aces. Setter Ariel Ley dished out 29 assists while libero Molly Crenshaw recorded a team-high 12 digs.
The first set saw Samford jump out to a 16-12 lead before Davidson rattled off seven-straight points to take a 19-16 advantage. The teams then traded runs before, down 24-25, Samford closed out the match with three-straight points to take the first set from the Wildcats, 27-25. Samford hit .227 in the set, while holding Davidson to just a .158 hitting percentage. Samford's Michaela Reesor led all hitters with six kills in the first set.
In set two, the teams traded runs for the second-consecutive close set. Down 14-16, Davidson rolled off four straight and a 7-3 run to take a 21-19 lead, using huge blocks by Sewell and some great defensive work. Samford then rallied with their own 4-1 run to take a 23-22 lead and force a Davidson timeout. After the timeout, the Bulldogs finished the set off a kill by Garvey and a block by Murphy and Neisler to take set two, 25-23.
Set three was almost a mirror image of the first two, with both teams trading points and runs early. Then, with the score tied at 14, Davidson went on a 4-1 run, using key blocks and capitalizing on Samford errors to take an 18-15 lead. Samford then came storming back to take a 21-20 lead and eventually take the set, 25-21, and the match, 3-0.
Samford advances to Sunday's semifinal and will face College of Charleston in a rematch of the 2011 SoCon Tournament Championship match.
College of Charleston 3, Chattanooga 1
Davidson, N.C. - College of Charleston (24-7, 15-2 SoCon )had four hitters in double figures and defeated Chattanooga (14-18, 8-9 SoCon), 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 25-20, 25-14) on Saturday.
With the win, the Cougars advance to Sunday's 4:30 p.m. semifinal match and will face the winner of the Samford/Davidson quarterfinal.
The Cougars out-hit the Mocs, .238-.086, and were led offensively by sophomore Sloane White, who recorded a team-high 18 kills. Darcy Dorton recorded 15 kills, while Kerstin Koehler recorded 13 kills and a team-high five blocks. Senior libero Emily Shelton tallied 22 digs, while freshman Melissa Morello added 20 digs. Junior setter Taeler Davis dished out 63 assists, as well.
The Mocs were led by freshman Sarah Batterton, who was the only Moc to record double-digit kills with 11. Libero of the Year Paula Passmore tallied 23 digs, while junior setter Bridget Camacho dished out 33 assists.
College of Charleston took set one, 25-15. Sparked by a kill from Koehler, the Cougars went on an early 6-1 run to pull out to a 9-4 lead, one they would never relinquish. Late in the set, the Cougars used a kill by Neideffer to ignite a 8-3 run to take the set, 25-15. College of Charleston used balanced hitting from Morello and Neideffer to out-hit the Mocs .250-.032.
Set two saw Chattanooga jump out to an early 6-0 lead, highlighted by kills from Teter and Camacho. The teams then traded point for much of the match, before College of Charleston used three huge kills from Dorton to cut the Mocs' lead to 18-16. The Cougars then fought back to tie the match at 24, capitalizing on two Chattanooga errors and getting a huge block from Morello. However, behind the play of Batterton, Chattanooga held on for the 26-24 set two win.
In set three, the teams traded points in the early going, before Chattanooga used a kill by Gainer to take a 13-10 lead. College of Charleston then rattled off four straight points, highlighted by a Neideffer kill, to take a 14-13 lead. The teams traded runs before, with the score tied at 18, the Cougars used a kill from Dorton and three consecutive blocks from Koehler to take the set from Chattanooga, 25-20.
College of Charleston shot out to a quick 7-2 lead over the Mocs. The Cougars used a balanced offensive attack to maintain their lead and rattled off seven-straight points to stretch the lead to ten at 24-14. The Cougars then used a Darcy Dorton kill to take the set, and the match, from Chattanooga, 25-15 and 3-1. Dorton led all hitters in the fourth set with five kills. The Cougars also out-hit the Mocs, .368-.031, in the set.
The Cougars will now face the winner of the Davidson/Samford match and will play in Sunday's 4:30 p.m. semifinal.