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

Appalachian State Volleyball Edges Out Louisiana-Monroe

The App State volleyball team defeated ULM, 3-2 (25-12, 24-26, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8), in Monroe, La. on Friday. Friday’s match marked the Mountaineers’ third consecutive five-set victory won on the road.

“We were gritty tonight,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We battled through and found a way to win. I’m proud of our fight through some adversity and being able to find our confidence at the end of the match when it mattered.”

Senior McCall Denny set a new season high in kills, leading the team with 18 and earning a double-double with 13 digs. Following Denny in the kills category was sophomore Lulu Ambrose with 11 on the night and freshman Maya Winterhoff, who earned her first career double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Fellow freshman Alyssa McBean led the team in aces, serving up four and matching her season and career high set on Sept. 30 against Coastal Carolina. McBean also led the Black and Gold in digs, with a season and career high of 23. Senior Sam Bickley recorded a team-high 29 assists on the night and made 11 digs for a double-double of her own. Fellow senior Sarah Missroon led the team in blocks, totaling six, four of which were solo.

App State outpaced ULM in points (78-66), kills (62-55), aces (8-4), blocks (8-7), assists (59-52), and digs (89-74).

The Mountaineers commanded the first set after tying things up at 3-3 and going on an 8-0 run to lead 10-3. Within their 8-0 scoring run, the Mountaineers saw back-to-back kills from Ambrose and junior Madison Baldridge, an ace from Denny, a second kill from Ambrose, and a kill from Missroon. The Warhawks managed to come within four, cutting App State’s lead to 14-10, but the Mountaineers responded with a 6-0 run, which included two consecutive kills from Denny, kills from junior Meghan Dombrowski and Missroon, and an ace from Winterhoff, to push the score to 20-10. The Mountaineers pulled further ahead after another kill from Dombrowski, a ULM error, and a kill from Denny, to lead 23-12. The Warhawks mustered one more kill before Baldridge and Denny posted a kill and an ace, respectively, to take the set, 25-12.

The second set of the match was tight, with the Warhawks keeping pace with the Mountaineers, only allowing the Mountaineers one 3-0 scoring run. ULM answered App State’s 3-0 scoring run with a 5-0 run of their own to take the lead, 11-9. Battling back and forth for the remainder of the set, the Black and Gold managed to break an 18-18 tie with a kill from Winterhoff and a ULM error to lead, 20-18. Kills from Missroon and Denny put the Mountaineers up 23-21, but the Warhawks managed to go on a late 4-0 scoring run to take the set, 26-24.

Going point-for-point early in the third set, the Mountaineers tied things up at 10-10 and scored four more consecutive points that included a block from Dombrowski and Missroon, as well as a kill from Denny, to take a 14-10 lead. App State further distanced itself from ULM with a 4-0 scoring run that consisted of kills from Denny and Baldridge and two ULM errors, to extend the lead to 19-13. The Black and Gold scored three more consecutive points with a kill from Baldridge and back-to-back aces from McBean, making the score 22-14 in favor of App State. ULM responded with a 3-0 run of its own, but it wasn’t enough to surpass the Mountaineers, who took the third set 25-19 after a kill from Winterhoff.

ULM found momentum in the fourth set, building off an early 5-1 lead that was followed by an 8-0 scoring run that pushed the score to 14-10. App State steadily fought back, going on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-11. Down 23-15, the Black and Gold went on a 3-0 run before ULM pushed the score to 24-18. The Mountaineers held the Warhawks to four set points with back-to-back kills from Dombrowski, a solo block from Missroon, and a kill from Denny to put App State within two at 24-22, but a final kill from ULM secured set four in favor of the Warhawks, 25-22.

App State jumped to an early 6-2 lead in the fifth and final set, with kills from McBean and Winterhoff, a block from Baldridge and Missroon, and three errors from the Warhawks. The Mountaineers extended their lead to 8-3 after back-to-back kills from Denny and Baldridge. Up 10-6, the Mountaineers went on a 4-0 scoring run to create a 14-6 deficit the Warhawks couldn’t recover from. App State took the final set 15-8 after a kill from Denny and secured the match, 3-2.