Averett Hits Way Past Virginia Wesleyan in Four Sets
DANVILLE, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team managed to grind out a hard-fought second set, but ultimately fell to Averett University 25-18, 28-30, 25-14, 25-22 on Tuesday night.
The Marlins led 10-5 in the first set before a 9-2 run put the Cougars in front 14-12. Averett collected five kills in that spurt, finishing with 16 for the set. AU would tally at least 12 kills in all four sets while holding the Marlins under 10 on two separate occasions.
Averett continued to lead in the set, despite late Marlin rallies. Virginia Wesleyan cut the deficit to just three at 21-18 on a block by Amber Matalus and Doneisha Hall, but the Cougars posted the next four points to claim the first set.
Averett jumped out to the early lead in the second set, 7-3, only to see the Marlins recover. Virginia Wesleyan trailed 11-9, but kills by Colleen Smith and Hall, along with an Averett error gave the Marlins their first lead at 12-11. The squads traded points with Averett leading at 13-12 and 14-13 before the Marlins regained a lead that would hold until late in the set.
Leading 24-21, the Cougars battled off three set points, scoring four straight to pull ahead 25-24. The Marlins answered with a kill by Kristina Scott of an Emilee Pierson assist. An attack error gave the Marlins set point, but the Cougars' Brianna Williams tied the score at 27 on a kill of her own. The teams split the next two points to knot the score at 28. A ball-handing error brought set point back to the Marlins. Allison Mackley stepped up to serve and ultimately finished off the rally when she set up Pierson for the set-winning kill.
The first six points of the third set were split as the squads remained tied at three, but Averett reeled off seven-straight points to go up 10-3. The Marlins could get no closer than five points the remainder of the set. The Cougars connected for 12 kills in the set while hitting a team-best .320 in the set.
The Marlins tired to force a fifth set with a strong fourth that saw VWU leading 17-15 midway through. Averett picked up three kills, a block, and an attack error to run off six of the next seven points for a 21-18 lead. Virginia Wesleyan managed to cut the lead to just one, but could not regain the lead.
Scott led the Marlins with a career-high 17 kills on a .343 hitting percentage. Pierson contributed 21 kills and 12 digs while Mackley tallied a team-leading 20 digs.
Hannah Shields led Averett (5-0) with 18 kills to go with 14 digs while McKenzie Miller posted 23 assists.
Virginia Wesleyan (3-2) travels to the Buttermaker Tournament at Muhlenberg College this Friday and Saturday. The first match will be against Neumann (1-3) on Friday at 5 p.m.