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McCall Denny
McCall Denny had 18 kills for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Downs Louisiana Again

The App State volleyball team defeated Louisiana, 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20), on Saturday to cap the regular season with a record of 18-9 (11-5 SBC), and 9-2 at Holmes. App State has won 11 of its last 12 matches, which is the best stretch of play for the Mountaineers since a program-record-tying 16 straight wins during the 2015 campaign.

The Mountaineers honored seniors Sam Bickley, Sarah Missroon, and student assistant coach Morgan Flores post-match.

“What an incredible senior day, getting the win and being able to honor three incredible people – Sarah, Sam, and Morgan,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “I couldn’t be happier with how we finished conference play, but we still have a lot of volleyball left in us as we head into the Sun Belt Tournament next week.”

App State 3, Louisiana 1
Senior McCall Denny posted a double-double, her 11th of the season, leading the Mountaineers in the kills (15) and digs (12) categories. Bickley, and freshmen Alyssa McBean and Maya Winterhoff each served up two aces. Bickley held the team high in assists (23) and also recorded the second-most digs (8) on the afternoon. Winterhoff tallied a team-high six blocks, while Missroon had the second-most with three. Missroon also had eight kills on the day.

App State led Louisiana in points (65-60), kills (48-47), aces (8-5), and blocks (9-8).

Louisiana took a quick lead 8-6 in the first set. In response, the Mountaineers went on a four-point run that included a kill from sophomore Lulu Ambrose, ace from McBean, and block from Winterhoff and Ambrose that put App State up, 10-8. The Ragin’ Cajuns tied the score at 13 all and jumped ahead to 21-18, before a kill from Ambrose, Louisiana error, and ace from Bickley tied things up at 21 all. A three-point run from Louisiana brought the Ragin’ Cajuns to set point, but App State caught up at 24-24 after two Louisiana errors and an ace from freshman Kenady Roper. Louisiana closed the first set 26-24.

App State battled back from an early setback in the second set, meeting Louisiana at 9-9 after a kill from Denny and ace from Winterhoff. After the Ragin’ Cajuns took a 14-12 lead, the Mountaineers responded with five consecutive points that included a block assist from Winterhoff and junior Meghan Dombrowski, a pair of kills from Ambrose, and a solo block by Winterhoff, jumping ahead 17-14. The Black and Gold extended the lead to 20-15 after a junior Madison Baldridge slammed down a kill, which was followed by an ace served up by Bickley. App State took the second set, 25-17, after a Louisiana error, kill from Denny, and ace from Winterhoff.

The Mountaineers and Ragin’ Cajuns went point-for-point in the third set until Louisiana broke an 8-8 tie with a 3-0 run. Facing a 13-9 deficit, App State went on a 5-0 run to edge past the Ragin’ Cajuns (14-13), with back-to-back kills from Baldridge and Denny, a Ragin’ Cajun error, a block from Denny and Missroon, and a second kill from Denny. Louisiana took an 18-15 lead, but several Ragin’ Cajun errors combined with a kill from Ambrose and solo block from Winterhoff, gave the Mountaineers a 21-18 advantage. The Ragin’ Cajuns worked to tie the score at 21-21, but App State clinched the set with a 4-0 run that featured a back-to-back kill and block from Winterhoff.

App State and Louisiana traded off leads throughout the fourth set until the Black and Gold managed to break at 17-17 tie for a 19-17 edge after a Ragin’ Cajun error and block from the duo of Ambrose and Winterhoff. Back-to-back kills from Ambrose and Denny put the Mountaineers up 21-18. A block from Baldridge and Missroon pushed App State ahead, 23-19. A final kill from Denny clinched the set (25-20), and the match (3-1) for the Mountaineers.

No. 4 seeded App State will head to Foley, Ala. for the Sun Belt Tournament, where they will clash once again with No. 5 seeded Louisiana at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT) on Thursday. The tournament will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and will be held at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex.