Volleyball Splits Opening Day of 2019 Season at Emory Invitational

Credit: Erin Cassell
Credit: Erin Cassell

ATLANTA - The Sewanee volleyball team picked up a Friday split in the team's first day of official competition for the 2019 season. The Tigers swept the Quakers of Guilford in straight sets in the midday match but fell in four sets to No. 8 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) in the afternoon match from the Woodruff P.E. Center on the campus of Emory University.

Final Score, Match 1: Sewanee 3, Guilford (0-1) 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-21)
Final Score, Match 2: #8 Johnson & Wales (1-0) 3, Sewanee (1-1) 1 (25-16, 25-21, 16-25, 25-22)
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-Trailing 6-4 early in the first set, Sewanee went on a 9-2 run to lead 13-8. However, despite the Quakers got the deficit back to three points, 15-12, Sewanee finished strong with a .355 hitting percentage (15-4-31) to win the opening set, 25-18.

-The Tigers played the second set tight, but after a 4-2 start for the Purple and Gold, they lost the groove allowing six of the next eight points and saw them trail 8-6 before a Sewanee timeout.

-Following the timeout, the Quakers lost possession on a service error, and the Tigers went on a run thanks to three kills, two by Lilly Reilly, and two service aces by Constance Connolly.

-That run would be beneficial for Sewanee, as they saw themselves up 2-0 in the match with a 25-20 second set victory.

-In the final set, the Tigers took the match, 25-21, but it did not come easy. Leading 21-17, the Quakers scored four of the next five points to trail, 22-21.

-However, after a Lydia Goffi kill, the final two points of the match were won thanks to service aces by Connolly.

-Despite the close effort in the third set, the Quakers offense struggled with 10 errors and just four kills for the set.

-Lilly Reilly led all attackers in the match with 13 kills on a .360 attack percentage (13-4-25).

-Destiny Stewart posted 10 kills, while Anna Ball added 10 digs.

-Reilly, Sydney White and Constance Connolly added eight digs each.

-The Tigers defense held the Quakers to 17 kills for the match, with no one player having more than five kills. Additionally, the defense held Guilford to a -.054 hitting percentage (17-22-92).

-Cam Blankenship led the Quakers with five kills, while Christian Ritter posted 15 digs.

-The Wildcats of JUW got out to a 2-0 set lead with 28 kills and a .272 attack percentage, while Sewanee was held to 21 kills and a .115 hitting percentage.

-Sewanee avoided the shutout in the third set with 18 kills and a 25-16 victory before falling in the fourth set, 25-22.

-In the third set, Sewanee sprinted out to a 14-5 lead and had a lead as high as 10 points.

-The Wildcats are ranked eighth in the country in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll.

-Lilly Reilly led the Tigers by posting a double-double of 18 digs and 15 kills. Adding an ace and a block assist, the sophomore tallied 16.5 points.

-Destiny Stewart also tallied a double-double, posting 12 digs and kills each.

-Anna Ball recorded 20 digs to lead Sewanee, while Constance Connolly assisted on 42 of Sewanee's 51 kills.

-Kate Walker led all attackers with 18 kills for the match, while Elyssa Nicholas added 29 digs.

-Brylee Frank recorded 47 assists and added 10 digs and six kills.

The Tigers will conclude the Emory Invitational Saturday with matches scheduled against Piedmont and the reigning NCAA Division III National Champions in Emory.

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