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Maya Winterhoff
Maya Winterhoff was named the first App State volleyball to win Freshman of the Year honors since the Mountaineers joined the Sun Belt Conference.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Wins Again Against Louisiana-Monroe

The App State volleyball team defeated ULM, 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-16) in Monroe, La. on Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers are now 11-8 (4-4 SBC) on the season and have won their last four road matches, three of which were five-set thrillers.

“I’m super proud to get the weekend sweep,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We started off a little slow, but our offense really got going this match. Senior McCall Denny had a great weekend for us and really drove us to win both matches.”

For a second consecutive match, Denny led the Mountaineers in the kills category, posting 16 on the afternoon, two off from her newly set season high, which she recorded in Friday’s match against the Warhawks. Freshman Maya Winterhoff led the team in aces, serving up four, which matches her season and career high set on Sept. 16 against Norfolk State. Senior Sarah Missroon led the Mountaineers once again in the blocks category, totaling five on the afternoon, while junior Sophie Cain led the team in assists with 26. Senior Sam Bickley led the team in digs, posting 13, and had the second-most assists, earning 26, for her second double-double on the weekend.

The Mountaineers led the Warhawks in points (78-56), kills (63-47), aces (9-2), assists (60-45), and digs (64-57).

App State trailed during the first set, as ULM built off of an 8-1 lead. The Mountaineers steadily chipped away at the deficit, posting a 5-0 run to come within two (8-6) and a 3-0 run to close the gap to 12-10 with a kill from junior Madison Baldridge, a block from Winterhoff and sophomore Lulu Ambrose, and a ULM error. ULM pulled away, eventually building up to a 21-17 lead. App State managed to come within two at 23-21 after a kill from Winterhoff, and then again at 24-22 after a kill from Denny, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Warhawks, who took the set 25-23.

The Mountaineers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second set after a kill from junior Meghan Dombrowski, a block from Missroon and Denny, and a ULM error. Missroon later posted a solo block followed by a block assist with Baldridge to push the score to 8-2 in favor of the Mountaineers. The Black and Gold pulled ahead to 15-10 after kills from Winterhoff, freshman Alyssa McBean, and two consecutive kills from Denny. The Mountaineers went on a 3-0 scoring run that included kills from Dombrowski and Baldridge, as well as an ace from Cain, which made the score 18-11 in favor of App State. App State went on another 3-0 run that included another kill from Baldridge and an ace from Denny to put the Mountaineers up 21-12. Back-to-back kills from Missroon and Winterhoff extended the lead to 23-13, and Baldridge brought App State to set point with a kill of her own. Ambrose slammed down a last kill as the Black and Gold took set two, 25-15.

Bouncing back from an early 4-0 deficit in the third set, App State went on a 7-0 scoring run that put the Black and Gold up 7-4, and included a pair of aces from Winterhoff, a pair of kills from Denny, and a kill from Winterhoff. Back-to-back kills from Ambrose put the Mountaineers up 13-9 mid-set. The Black and Gold went on a 4-0 scoring run as Ambrose delivered a kill and an ace, ULM made an error, and Dombroswki slammed down a kill, which pushed the score to 18-12 in favor of App State. A kill from Denny followed by an ace from Winterhoff put the Mountaineers up 20-14. As ULM chipped away at App State’s lead, Denny posted two more kills to push the score to 22-18 and Ambrose notched three kills to secure the set, 25-20, in favor of App State.

Leading the match two sets to one, the Mountaineers came out hot in the fourth set, taking a 5-0 lead after a ULM error, kills from Dombrowski, Missroon, and Denny, and an ace from Winterhoff. The Mountaineers went on a 4-0 scoring run after kills from Denny, Missroon, and Baldridge and a block from Missroon/Baldridge, extending the lead to 11-5. Kills from Winterhoff and Ambrose, as well as an ace from Bickley, put App State up 16-7. A pair of back-to-back kills from Denny and Ambrose pushed the score to 22-11. Winterhoff, slamming down her 11th kill of the match, put the Mountaineers up 24-14, and Ambrose posted the final kill to take the set, 25-16, and match 3-1, for the Mountaineers.

App State is set to host new Sun Belt Conference member Marshall at the Holmes Convocation Center on Oct. 21 and 22. Friday’s match is slated for 6 p.m. and will be ’90s Night. Saturday’s 1 p.m. match will be App State’s Pink Game, benefiting the High Country Breast Cancer Association.