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Lulu Ambrose
Lulu Ambrose was one of two Mountaineers with 12 kills.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Defeats Georgia Southern

The App State volleyball team edged past Georgia Southern, 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11) on its home court on Friday. The Mountaineers improve to 15-9 (8-5 SBC) on the season with three remaining regular season matches.

“We had a hard-fought match,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We battled for every point and believed in playing App State Volleyball. Everyone on our team made a big time play in a big moment. I’m really proud.”

The Mountaineers return to the court Saturday afternoon for their second battle against the Eagles at 1 p.m. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN+. Half-price tickets will be available to fans who bring in canned food items, which will benefit the Health and Hunger Coalition.

Sophomore Lulu Ambrose led the Mountaineers with 21 kills and was followed by senior McCall Denny, who earned a double-double with 20 kills and led the team in digs with 19. Freshman Maya Winterhoff held the team-high in aces (4), and was third on the team for blocks (3) and kills (10). Seniors Sarah Missroon and Sam Bickley posted the team-highs in the blocks (4) and assists categories (28), respectively.

App State outpaced Georgia Southern in points (79-72), kills (66-57), assists (59-53), and digs (87-84).

A kill from junior Meghan Dombrowski and an ace from Winterhoff put the Mountaineers up 2-0 in the first set, but Georgia Southern was quick to respond. Going point-for-point, neither team could pull away for a substantial lead. Down 16-13, the Mountaineers came back with two consecutive kills from Ambrose and a block from Ambrose and Winterhoff to tie things at 16-16. The Black and Gold kept pace with GS, tying the score at 17 all with another kill from Ambrose, followed by a kill from Denny and an error from the Eagles to take a 19-17 lead. Georgia Southern kept up with App State, taking a 22-21 lead, but App State notched two points off a GS error and kill from Missroon to take the lead back at 23-22. The Eagles matched the Mountaineers at 23 all, but App State cliched the first set, 25-23, after a pair of GS errors.

Georgia Southern jumped to a 5-3 lead in the second set, which App State responded with a 3-0 run that included a kill from junior Madison Baldridge and a block from Baldridge and Missroon, to edge past the Eagles, 6-5. The Mountaineers extended their lead to 10-6 after a 4-0 run that included back-to-back kills from Ambrose and a kill by junior Sophie Cain. App State kept a slight edge over the Eagles until Georgia Southern broke a 17-17 tie with a four-point run (21-17) followed promptly by three more points to push the score to 24-18. Ambrose and Winterhoff mustered two more kills to bring App State within four, but Georgia Southern’s Paige Powers slammed down a kill to secure the set 25-20 in favor of GS.

Much like the first two sets, App State and Georgia Southern stayed neck and neck in the third. App State posted a 3-0 run that included kills from Dombroski and Winterhoff to jump ahead to 10-6. GS answered with a 4-0 run to tie things at 10 all. The Mountaineers went on a four-point run of their own with back-to-back kills from Denny and a pair of GS errors to lead 14-10. GS pushed the score to 15-14 with five consecutive points and eventually pushed the score to 23-19. Kills from Ambrose and Winterhoff, as well as a block from Winterhoff and Dombrowski put the Black and Gold within one of GS’s lead (23-22), but GS rounded out the third set, 25-22.

App State kicked off the fourth set with kills from Winterhoff and Denny to take a 2-0 lead. Despite Georgia Southern catching up at 2-2, the Mountaineers earned three points from a GS error, a block from Missroon and Baldridge and a kill from Denny to lead 5-2. The Mountaineers’ momentum carried throughout the set. A kill from Baldridge tied the score at 12 all and was promptly followed by two consecutive kills from Winterhoff, which pushed the score to 14-12. Tied at 18-18 after matching each other point-for-point, a GS error and kills from Cain and Winterhoff put App State up 21-18. Freshman Kenady Roper served up an ace to put App State up 23-19, and despite a late 3-0 run from Georgia Southern, a kill from Winterhoff and error from GS closed out the set with App State winning 25-22 to tie things at two sets apiece.

A kill from Denny followed by an ace from Winterhoff put the Black and Gold up 2-0 in the fifth and final set. GS answered with three consecutive points to take a slight 3-2 lead, but App State kept pace, regaining the lead at 4-3 after back-to-back kills from Denny. GS jumped to an 8-5 lead after a 4-0 run, but App State answered with a four-point run of its own with back-to-back kills from Ambrose, an ace from freshman Alyssa McBean, and a GS error to take a slight 9-8 lead. Kills from Ambrose and Winterhoff put the Mountaineers up 11-9 and a kill from Baldridge kept App State ahead at 12-10. Georgia Southern came within one at 12-11. A kill from Denny and an ace from Winterhoff extended the deficit to 14-11. A final kill from Baldridge sealed the set 15-11 for App State and cliched the match at 3-2.