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Lulu Ambrose
Lulu Ambrose had nine kills in the match to pace the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Wins Two Matches in Hosted Tournament

The App State volleyball team defeated Texas A&M Commerce, 3-1, in its afternoon match and Furman in the nightcap, 3-2, on the first day of competition in its home tournament. The Mountaineers are now 5-3 on the season.

“I’m really proud of my team today,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “Winning two matches in a day is never easy and I’m proud of our fight. We faced some adversity after being up 2-0 against Furman, but I’m proud we found a way in the fifth set and pulled it out. We’re back at it tomorrow.”

App State 3, Texas A&M – Commerce 1
Senior McCall Denny notched a double-double, leading the team in kills (12) and tallying 15 digs. Denny, alongside sophomore Lauren Pledger and freshman Maya Winterhoff led the team in blocks, totaling three each. Senior Sam Bickley tallied 23 assists and three aces to lead the Mountaineers in both categories. Freshman Kenady Roper logged 16 kills for the second time this season.

The Mountaineers outpaced the Lions in all categories with their largest leads in digs (70-60), points (68-62), assists (44-41) and blocks (10-7).

In the first set, the Mountaineers broke away from a 5-5 tie with a five-point run that included kills from Pledger and Denny as well as a block from the pair. Leading 11-9, the Black and Gold pulled away again with a four-point run to push the score to 15-9, which gave them enough momentum to take the set 25-17.

The Lions found momentum in the second set, making two four-point runs to secure the set win, 25-20.

The Black and Gold found momentum in the third set, posting five unanswered points early with kills from junior Cierra Huntley, Denny, and Winterhoff, as well as a block from Winterhoff and Denny. With the Mountaineers leading 6-1, the Lions cut App State’s lead to 9-7. The Mountaineers managed to pull away after back-to-back kills from Denny and junior Meghan Dombrowski to push the score to 18-14. After posting two more 3-0 runs, the Mountaineers took the set, 25-17.

App State jumped to a 3-0 lead in the fourth and final set with kills from Winterhoff and Denny. Going point for point, the Mountaineers went on a five-point run as Winterhoff recorded two service aces, sophomore Lily Harvey and Denny made a block, and Denny notched a kill, pushing the score to 14-10. The Mountaineers recorded another three-point run for a score of 24-19 before securing the set 25-20 and match, 3-1.

App State 3, Furman 2
Pledger led the Mountaineers in kills, notching 17 and recording a hitting percentage of .577. Junior Sophie Cain tallied yet another double-double on the season, leading the team in assists (32) and digs (18). Denny recorded three service aces and Winterhoff notched six blocks.

As they had in their first match of the day, the Mountaineers led the Paladins in all of the team comparison categories. Their biggest leads came in assists (65-59), points (81-75) and digs (78-71).

App State came out strong in the first set, breaking from an early 5-5 tie with a kill from Dombrowski and three errors from the Paladins. The Mountaineers kept a steady, but tight lead until they pulled away with an impressive 9-0 run lead by Denny, who marked a kill and two service aces, as well as junior Lulu Ambrose, who tallied three kills in a row. Pledger also marked a kill during the 9-0 run. The Mountaineers took the first set 25-15.

The Mountaineers’ momentum carried into the second set, where they marked two 4-0 runs and edged past the Paladins 25-23. App State caught up to the Paladins after being down 8-5, with back-to-back blocks from Dombrowski and Pledger and two Paladin errors, to tie the score at eight all. Going point-for point, Furman managed to briefly pull away for a 19-18 lead, but the Black and Gold recorded two kills from Ambrose and blocks from Winterhoff and Ambrose to overtake the lead 21-19.

Furman held tight leads after going point-for-point in both the third set, which they won 25-21, and fourth set, which was won 25-21.

In the fifth and final set of Friday’s thriller, the Paladins and Mountaineers went point-for-point. Tied at nine all, the Black and Gold took the lead, 11-9 with kills from Winterhoff, an ace from Huntley, and blocks from Winterhoff and Baldridge. Furman went on a four-point run to push the score to 13-11. Building off their momentum, the Mountaineers went on another 3-0 run after a pair of Furman errors and a block from Baldridge and Pledger. Furman tied the score at 14 all before App State clinched the set with a kill from Pledger and service ace from Bickley.