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Kenady Roper
Patton High School grad Kenady Roper had 13 digs in the win.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Picks Up First Sun Belt Win of Season

The App State volleyball team swept Georgia State, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17), in Saturday’s rematch against the Panthers at the Holmes Convocation Center.

“I am so proud of our response today,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We executed at a really high level and our serve and pass game was the difference in this match.”

Fifth year senior McCall Denny led the team in kills, tallying 11, in addition to nine digs. Redshirt freshman Katie Cruise posted a team-high 18 assists and senior Sophie Cain posted 12. Sophomore Kenady Roper posted 13 digs on the night, while junior Lauren Pledger led the Mountaineers for a second consecutive match in the blocks category, tallying five (two solo, three assists).

App State outpaced the Panthers in the kills category (38-27), aces category (5-1), and assists category (34-26). The Mountaineers and Panthers each had nine blocks apiece.

The Mountaineers and Panthers went point-for-point in the first set until Georgia State gained a 13-10 edge. App State answered with a 6-0 run that included kills from Denny and junior Lulu Ambrose, a block from sophomore Maya Winterhoff/freshman Ava Leahy, and an ace from Denny that put App State up, 16-13. The Black and Gold posted four more unanswered points that included a kill from Leahy, a solo block from Pledger, and a block from Pledger/Ambrose, to jump ahead 20-14. Back-to-back kills from Leahy and Ambrose gave the Mountaineers a 22-15 advantage. Ambrose and Denny slammed down kills that closed out the set, 25-16, in favor of the Mountaineers.

In the second set, App State tied things up at five all in another tight start. Georgia State broke the tie with a 3-0 run to lead 8-5. The Mountaineers went on a 7-0 run to lead 12-8. The run featured a pair of kills from Leahy, a pair of kills from Ambrose, and an ace from Winterhoff. Georgia State tied things up at 13 all, which App State answered with another 7-0 run that put the Mountaineers ahead, 20-13. The second 7-0 run included a solo block from Pledger, a trio of kills from Denny, an ace from McBean, and a block from Pledger/freshman Delanie Grevengoed. Georgia State came within one of App State’s lead (23-22), but a Denny kill and Georgia State error sealed the second set for App State, 25-22.

App State and Georgia State stayed close early in the third set. The Mountaineers broke away with a 6-0 run that included back-to-back kills from Ambrose and a block from Pledger/Ambrose to take a 12-5 lead. As the Panthers worked to erase the deficit, App State extended it to 18-9 after a Roper ace, Winterhoff kill, and block from Winterhoff/Grevengoed. A kill from Denny, ace from Cain, and solo block from Winterhoff extended App State’s lead to 21-12. With a 22-13 lead, freshman and Boone native Caroline Farthing made her first collegiate appearance, subbing in for her first collegiate serve. The Panthers tried to chip away at the Mountaineers’ lead, but after a pair of Georgia State errors, App State won the set, 25-17, and the match, 3-0.

The Mountaineers are 10-7 overall, 1-5 in the Sun Belt Conference. App State will host ULM on Oct. 13 and 14. Friday’s match is set for 6 p.m. and will be Friday the 13th Night, where fans are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. The Mountaineers will honor their graduating seniors at Saturday’s 1 p.m. match.