Two days before it plays in the Sun Belt Championship Game as the East Division's…
App State fifth year senior McCall Denny’s 1,000th kill was the highlight of the Mountaineers’ four set loss to Old Dominion (3-1 (17-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-22)) on Friday. Friday’s match marked App State’s final home match of the 2023 campaign.
“We got better this week and killed a lot of balls,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “It was our goal going into the weekend to increase our offensive efficiency and we did that. We’re going to go into next week and keep getting better. It’s always our goal to be playing our best volleyball at the end of the year and we are trending in the right direction.”
Denny recorded a team-high 14 kills on the night in addition to 11 digs to record her 28th career double-double. Junior Lulu Ambrose and sophomore Maya Winterhoff, who posted eight kills apiece. Winterhoff led the Mountaineers in the blocks category, totaling four. Redshirt freshman Katie Cruise recorded a team-high 24 assists, while senior Sophie Cain recorded 14. Sophomore Kenady Roper led the team in the digs category, tallying 18. Fellow sophomore Alyssa McBean served up a team-high four aces on the night.
App State recorded 10 kills and matched ODU in the digs category with 62 apiece.
The Mountaineers started off strong in the first set, going on a 5-0 run that included a pair of McBean aces as well as kills from freshman Delanie Grevengoed and Winterhoff. App State jumped ahead, 12-5 after back-to-back kills from Winterhoff and Ambrose. Kills from Winterhoff, Grevengoed, junior Lauren Pledger, and freshman Ava Leahy launched the Black and Gold ahead, 18-11. A late 4-0 run brought App State to set point before Denny slammed down a kill to take the set for the Mountaineers, 25-17.
Denny made her 1,000th kill in the second set, giving App State a 3-1 edge over ODU. The Monarchs found momentum with a 6-0 scoring run to lead, 8-4. Another five consecutive points from ODU extended the deficit to 13-6. App State chipped away at the lead with back-to-back kills from Leahy and Ambrose in addition to a pair of aces from Roper to cut the lead to 13-10. ODU jumped ahead, 22-12, with another 5-0 run. Despite a pair of kills from Denny and Grevengoed, ODU took the second set, 25-15.
McBean opened the third set with an ace for App State. ODU was quick to take an 11-8 lead. Back-to-back kills from Denny brought App State within one of the lead (11-10). As the Mountaineers and Monarchs went point-for-point, App State managed to edge ahead, 17-15 after a trio of kills from Ambrose and ace from Cruise. ODU tied the score at 17 all, but App State responded with a 3-0 run that included a kill from Grevengoed and block from Winterhoff/Grevengoed. Kills from Grevengoed and Denny put App State up, 22-19. Old Dominion went on a late 5-0 surge to reach set point. App State held the Monarchs to two set points with kills from Denny and Pledger, but ODU took the set, 26-24.
Leahy opened the fourth and final set with a kill for the Mountaineers. ODU steadily built at 5-2 lead. Winterhoff slammed down a kill to bring App State within two of the Monarch’s lead (6-4). ODU jumped ahead, 12-4, with a 6-0 run. A pair of kills from Winterhoff, a kill from Leahy, and a block from the duo brought App State back within two (14-12). A trio of kills and ODU error cut ODU’s lead to 22-19. A Denny kill and block from Denny/Pledger kept App State within two (23-21). Despite a last kill from Denny, ODU took the set, 25-22, and match, 3-0.
The Mountaineers will head to Statesboro, Ga. to take on Georgia Southern on Nov. 3 and 4. Friday’s match is set for 6 p.m. and Saturday’s match is set for 1 p.m. Both will be available to stream on ESPN+.