ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida - On the final day of the Flagler Saints Classic, the Walsh Cavaliers volleyball team showed lots of fight and resilliency as they battled in two wins on Saturday (Sept. 14).
Walsh defeated West Georgia 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21) in the morning match before sweeping Lees-McRae 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-15) in the afternoon match.
West Georgia (W 3-1)
After a Natalie Brutscher ace for a 2-1 Walsh lead, the Wolves gained an 8-3 lead with a 7-1 rally. Justine Coffman and Hallie Schroeder each had two kills as the Cavaliers inched within two at 9-7. West Georgia pushed the lead to seven, 17-10 before Walsh started to come back. Amber King combined on four different blocks on an 11-4 run for Walsh as they forced a 21-21 tie. The Wolves closed out the first set with a 25-22 score.
The second set was like a tetter-totter as both teams tied seven times through the first 16 points of the set. After an 8-8 tie, Walsh erupted with a 13-3 surge as five players contributed to the cause. Coffman had four kills and Schroeder added three kills as the Cavaliers took a 21-11 lead. West Georgia cut the deficit to five but Schroeder tied the match at one set each with a kill. Walsh evened the score with a 25-18 set two win.
The Wolves opened the third set with two straight points but the lead vanished quickly. Walsh took advantge of two errors as they slid past the Wolves with a 3-2 lead. Points were exchanged until Alexis Gilland came through with back-to-back kills as Walsh led 12-8. West Georgia took back the 19-16 lead with 11 of the next 15 points. With time running out, Walsh put together one last run and they went on a 9-1 run, winning the set 25-20. King made four kills during the run and put the exclamation point on the set with a solo block.
Set four saw West Georgia start with four straight points and led by as many as six, 15-9. Walsh slowly chipped away at the lead as trailed 21-18 with the end of the set looming. The Cavaliers rattled off seven straight points as they took the match 3-1 with a 25-21 set win. Sam Wentz had two aces and Gilland made two kills in the final run.
Coffman led the Cavaliers with 15 kills on offense as she was one of four players with double-digit kills. Gilland (13 kills/16 digs) and Schroeder (13 kills/11 digs) both had double-doubles. King ended with ten kills, two solo blocks and four combined blocks. Olivia Kearns added 51 assists and ten digs on defense. Wentz finished with three service aces and 14 digs in the match.
Lees-McRae (W 3-0)
Following a 3-2 lead, Walsh pulled away with an 8-2 run, including two kills from Lauren Loucks. The Bobcats could not pull any closer than six points before Walsh continued to distance themselves with a 6-2 run. With the lead at ten, the Cavaliers finished the first set in a 25-15 win.
In the second set, Lees-McRae led for the only time in the match with the first point. After two ties, Walsh got contributions from Schroeder, Coffman, Gilland and Loucks in a 7-1 rally where the Cavs led 10-4. The lead grew to six prior to a 4-1 Cavaliers push. Three straight Bobcat points were followed with a 5-2 run, winning the set 25-15.
An early tie was short-lived as six players combined for a huge 9-2 run pushed Walsh led 11-4. The Bobcats had two consecutive points but Walsh gained momentum with a 12-5 run that put the match in ice. Three straight points on match point from the Bobcats occured before Schroeder completed the sweep and near wire-to-wire win.
As a team, Walsh hit .375% in the match, including .542 in set number two.
Eight different players had a kill in the match with Loucks leading the way with 11 and Schroeder having ten kills. Julie Kruse and Kearns each had 18 assists in the match. Eleven players accounted for a dig as Schroeder had ten digs for a double-double. Wentz gave seven digs and a match-high three aces.
The Cavaliers will head to Pennsylvania for three matches in the Gannon/Edinboro Tournament, starting on Friday (Sept. 20).