Runnin' Bulldogs Stun Liberty With a 3-0 Sweep On Senior Night
Boiling Springs, N.C. - The Gardner-Webb volleyball team stunned the Liberty Lady Flames on Friday night, as the Runnin' Bulldogs swept the then League leaders 25-15, 25-13 and 25-19 on "Senior Night" in Paul Porter Arena.
The win is the Runnin' Bulldogs first-ever win over the Lady Flames in volleyball action and its fifth conference win of the season, the most for a GWU team in a single-season since winning five as members of the Atlantic Sun in 2007.
With the win, Gardner-Webb improves to 10-18 overall and 5-8 in conference play, while the loss drops Liberty to 16-12 overall and 11-2 in Big South action.
Gardner-Webb came out of the gates on fire, as the Runnin' Bulldogs posted a .417 attack percentage in the opening set, never relinquishing the lead en route to the opening set win.
GWU ran out to a 6-0 lead on a kill by junior outside hitter Melissa Richie and then pushed its lead to eight at 13-5 on an Evan Moffitt service ace.
The Runnin' Bulldogs had an answer for every Liberty run and took advantage of 11 errors by the Lady Flames to push its lead to 10 at 23-13.
After a service error put the score at 23-14, GWU picked up a kill by senior Lauren Evans and then traded points to come away with the 25-15 first set win.
Gardner-Webb did not let up in the second set, as the Runnin' Bulldogs posted an attack percentage of .452 in the set to overcome an early deficit.
Liberty scored first on a Loren Thomas kill, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs answered with a 5-2 run to take a 5-3 lead on a Liberty service error.
After a Lady Flames service ace tied the score up at 9-9, Gardner-Webb came out of its timeout inspired, outscoring Liberty 9-6 to take an18-15 lead on back-to-back kills from sophomore middle blocker Tyler Cockrell.
Gardner-Webb looked to put the set away, however, Liberty stormed back to cut the lead to two at 23-21 on a Lillie Happle kill.
Yet a Laura Wilcox kill gave GWU set point at 24-21 and forced Liberty to call its second timeout of the game.
Liberty posted a kill by Erica Manor to cut the Runnin' Bulldog lead back to two at 24-22 and then took advantage of a GWU error to cut the lead to one, only to have Evans' put the set away for the home team with a kill, giving the Runnin' Bulldogs the 25-23 set win and a 2-0 match lead.
GWU head coach Leo Sayles squad fell behind early in the third set, yet rebounded back to take a 12-8 lead on a Carol Solano kill, forcing Liberty to call a timeout.
After back-to-back kills by Solano and Cockrell pushed the lead to six at 14-8, Liberty cut the GWU lead to three at 18-15 on another Happle kill.
Refusing to relinquish the lead, Gardner-Webb pushed its lead to five at 20-15 on two consecutive kills by Evans, forcing Liberty to call its second and final timeout.
Out of the timeout, Liberty cut the lead to two at 20-18, yet got no closer, as the Runnin' Bulldogs took advantage of two Lady Flame errors to finish the set out on top, 25-19, and take the match 3-0.
Solano recorded a team-high 13 kills for GWU, while Evans and Cockrell posted 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Heather Feldman dished out a match high 40 assists, while Moffitt tallied 15 digs and two aces.
Happle led the Lady Flames with a match high 14 kills, while libero Kelly Haseman tallied 14 digs in the loss.
Gardner-Webb (10-18, 5-8 Big South) will wrap up its 2011 regular season slate tomorrow evening, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will host the Radford Highlanders at 5 p.m. in Paul Porter Arena.
Liberty (16-12, 11-2 Big South) will remain on the road to do battle with the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Asheville, N.C.
Winthrop Volleyball Defeats Blue Hose
ROCK HILL, SC - The Winthrop volleyball team ended the regular season Friday night on a high note as the Eagles brought down Presbyterian College in straight sets (25-18, 25-14, 25-19) on Senior Night at the Winthrop Coliseum. The victory guarantees at least a co-regular season championship as Liberty fell to Gardner-Webb tonight.
The Eagles closed out the regular season with an overall record of 19-7 and a 12-2 mark in the conference. PC ends its season at 13-17 on the season and 7-7 in the Big South. Winthrop could earn the Big South title outright if Liberty loses its final match at UNC Asheville on Saturday.
Redshirt junior Brittany Blackman played her last match at the Winthrop Coliseum and made it a memorable night as she paced the Eagles with 11 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Senior Becca Toor managed four kills on the night, as the PC defense kept her in check.
Defensively, three Eagles found themselves with double-digit digs as sophomore setter Stephanie Palmer led the team with 12. Palmer also dished out 22 assists as she was two kills short of her third triple-double. Following Palmer was freshman libero Catherine Brusie tallied 11, as junior defensive specialist Kristin Cruse totaled 10. Winthrop also added 8 total team blocks at the net.
The Eagles took command early in the opening set taking a 13-6 lead, forcing the Blue Hose to regroup. Winthrop continued to pressure as the Eagles finished the set with a .467 hitting percentage, winning 25-18. The offense finished with 16 kills as Blackman pounded five of them, leading the team.
Presbyterian College came out strong in the second set, taking a quick 7-3 lead. The Eagles came back strong within the set coming within two points at the 11-9 mark. Winthrop rallied off seven straight points and controlled the rest of the set as the Eagles took a 2-0 lead, 25-14. Weed closed out the set with seven kills as the defense tallied 17 digs.
The Eagles stormed out in final set, as Mullins found the floor with four kills to lead Winthrop to the set victory and the match, 25-19. The team finished with 14 kills and a .238 hitting percentage in the set.
While this was the last home match for Toor and Blackman, the duo hopes to have at least four more matches in their careers as they lead the Eagles to North Charleston, SC for the Big South Conference Championship Tournament that gets underway on Thursday.
The pairings for the tournament will be announced by the conference office on Saturday evening.
Courtney Johnk, Michelle Chakirelis Lead Attack in HPU's Win Over Coastal Carolina
HIGH POINT, N.C. - Courtney Johnk (Larkspur, Calif./Redwood) and Michelle Chakirelis (Bay Village, Ohio/Magnificat) posted 12 kills each to lift the High Point University volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina Friday at the Millis Center. Freshman Chelsea Davis (Yadkinville, N.C./Mount Tabor) also had a double-double in the 3-1 (25-23, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19) win.
Johnk recorded 12 kills with four blocks and one aces while Chakirelis hit .429 with her four kills. Davis was right behind them with 11 kills and 15 digs.
Despite a late push by Coastal Carolina the Panthers held on for a 25-23 win in set one. HPU jumped out to a 20-14 lead on a kill by Chakirelis. HPU made five errors to help CCU go on a 6-2 run and make it a 22-20 Panther lead. The Panthers were holding on to a 23-22 advantage when Lauren Bell (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) shot the ball in to the far left corner of the court for a kill to bring up set point. Katie Martin answered with a kill for the Chanticleers but Johnk sealed the frame for HPU with her fourth kill of the match.
The Chanticleers answered with a .452 hitting percentage in the second set, winning the frame 25-17 and tying the match at 1-1. Kindra Bailey and Erika Lightsey had five kills each for Coastal without an attack error.
The third set was tied at 15-15 when Johnk gave HPU the lead with a kill. The Panthers held the lead the rest of the way, winning by six, 25-19 on an attack error by Lian Bernett. Davis and Chakirelis combined for five kills in the final 10 HPU points.
Kristin Heldt (Frankfort, Ill./Peotone) stepped up for HPU with the fourth set tied 9-9. The freshman put down three straight kills to give the Panthers a 12-9 advantage they held for the remainder of the match. Heldt had five of her eight kills in the final set to help HPU to a 25-19 win.
Molly Barlow (Phoenix, Ariz./Seton Catholic) finished the match with 11 digs and Bell dished out 40 assists.
High Point will finish up the regular season Saturday at 4 p.m. against Charleston Southern. The Panthers topped CSU 3-0 in Charleston, S.C. on Sept. 30.
Coastal Carolina travels to Campbell to wrap its season up tomorrow. Match is slated for 2:00pm.
Radford Rallies For 3-2 Win Over Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Finding themselves down two sets to one the Highlanders of Radford rallied for two consecutive set victories to pick up a 3-2 over the homestanding UNC Asheville Bulldogs at Justice Center in Big South Conference play.
The Highlanders (14-14, 8-5 BSC) were led offensively by Megan McWhorter, who posted a match-high 17 kills. Rachel Wiechecki (15) and Emma Deininger (10) also had double-digit kills, as Christine Beckham (32) and Leigh Myers (29) combined for 61 assists.
Asheville (14-12, 7-6 BSC) was led on offense by Anna Moore, who tallied 15 kills on the night. Cindi Miller chipped in 13 and Holly Shelton added 10 to the Bulldogs' total while Hallie Morse picked up 44 assists directing the Asheville offense.
Meredith Foster had a big night at the net defensively picking up six blocks, including two solo. Moore also had four blocks for the Blue & White.
UNC Asheville took the first set 25-20 before dropping the second 22-25. Coming out of the break Asheville picked up the third set victory 25-23, ending it on a kill by Foster.
Radford bounced back in the fourth set to earn the 25-21 victory before taking the fifth 15-10 to earn the five-set victory. Tonight marks the first time all season that Asheville has fallen in a five-set match. The Bulldogs are now 3-1 when the match goes the distance.
The Blue & White will have a quick turnaround as they will host Liberty on Saturday evening at Justice Center. The Bulldogs will honor seniors Cindi Miller and Hallie Morse before the contest for their time in Asheville. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
Radford will return to the court tomorrow as it travesl to Gardner-Webb for a 5:00pm match.
Campbell Downs Charleston Southern 3-0
BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Annie Kobeski and Brooke Kelley both notched nine kills to lead Campbell in a 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-21) sweep of Charleston Southern Friday night in Big South volleyball action in Gore Arena.
Campbell improves to 13-16 on the season with a 6-7 league record while CSU falls to 5-24 and 1-12 in Big South matches.
Kobeski, a senior middle blocker, registered her nine scores on 24 attempts without an error, hitting .375 for the match. The Palm Beach, Fla. native added five digs and a pair of solo blocks in the win. Kelley also recorded five digs for the Camels.
Junior outside hitter Ally Russo tacked on seven kills and nine digs with a pair of aces, while Jordan Reaves tallied six kills and three aces. Reaves, a junior outside hitter, added nine digs with sophomore setter Heather Wilson posting 31 assists. Senior libero Kelsey Campbell picked up 21 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Kayla Klinger and freshman middle Sydney Tracy each gathered 11 kills to lead the Buccaneers, with Tracy notching four blocks in the loss. Senior setter Amy Nokes poured in 25 assists and 23 digs, while freshman libero Ashley Higginbothem grabbed 17 digs.
After trailing 16-11 in the opening set, the Buccaneers clawed back to knot the set at 17-all with a 6-1 run. Trading points, Kelley broke the tie at 25-24, and a Reaves ace gave the Camels the 26-24 win.
CSU came out of the gate with a 6-0 lead in the second, but a 17-5 outburst from the home squad gave Campbell a 17-11 advantage. Kobeski tallied four of her nine kills in the frame on the way to a 25-18 win.
Down 13-9 in the third, Campbell again bounced back, converting six straight points to claim a 15-13 lead. Kelley picked up another four scores in the frame, with Russo and Chelsey Pachoud adding three to lead Campbell in the 25-21 win.
The Camels will wrap up the regular season tomorrow, hosting Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m. Seniors Kelsey Campbell, Annie Kobeski and Lauren Garza will be honored prior to the match.
Charleston Southern will play at High Point tomorrow at 4:00pm.