MOUNT BERRY, Ga. - Despite the Sewanee volleyball team getting out to a 2-0 set lead, the 17th-ranked Berry Vikings responded by taking the final three sets to advance to the SAA Championship Match, 3-2, Saturday afternoon from The Cage Center. Sewanee's season comes to a close with a 20-8 record.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: Berry (24-3) 3, Sewanee (20-8) 2 (24-26, 15-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-7)
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HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Tigers sprinted out to a 2-0 match lead in hostile territory, but the first set did not come easy. Berry started the match with a 7-2 run before Sewanee burned its first timeout of the set.
-The teams went back-and-forth from there, but it was the Vikings that went had the first set point, 24-22. After a service error by Berry to make it a one-point set, Sewanee scored the final three points on a Lilly Reilly service ace, a Stewart kill and the set was won on a bad set by Berry. Sewanee took the first set, 26-24.
-From there, the momentum stayed with the visitors. The Tigers started the set on a 5-1 run before Berry attempted to rally to make the set closer.
-After a Sewanee timeout, leading 11-8, they began to pull away with a 13-7 run to go up two sets to none on the 17th-ranked team in the country and the top team in the NCAA South Region Rankings.
-Through the first two sets, Sewanee held Berry to a .045 attack percentage (19-15-88), while the Tigers recorded 27 kills on 87 attempts with nine errors committed (.207).
-The match shifted significantly to the home team in the third set. After Sewanee evened the set at three points apiece, the Vikings went on a 15-6 run to make it 18-9, Berry. The Vikings used that spurt to win the set, 25-14, despite 1.5 blocks by Ellie Pedersen.
-Each team used a lengthy rally to get out early in the fourth set, but eventually, the set was tied at 10 points apiece.
-Trailing 16-14, Berry went on a 6-0 run to re-take the lead, 20-16, but once again, Sewanee got the set within two, 21-19 thanks to kills by Stewart and Pedersen and a Stewart service ace.
-The Vikings came back, scoring four of the final points to even the match at two set wins apiece and forced the contest to a deciding fifth set.
-The deciding set was all Berry, using a .556 attack percentage (10-0-18) and led at one point 7-1 en route to a 15-7 victory to advance to the championship match Sunday.
Hear from head coach Nancy Mueller-Culver on the Tigers' historical 2018 season.
Video Courtesy of Berry Athletics
SEWANEE KEY STATISTICS
-Destiny Stewart led Sewanee with 16 kills and 13 digs. Finishing the match, the sophomore racked up 17 of the team's 60 points.
-Ellie Pedersen's streak of errorless matches came to an end Saturday. However, the SAA Newcomer of the Year committed just two errors on the day, finishing with 11 kills and a .281 attack percentage (11-2-32).
BERRY KEY STATISTICS
-Emily Hancock led all attackers for the match with 20 kills and 14 digs.
-Laura Beier finished with 20 digs.