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Volleyball has tourney hopes

Volleyball is working hard before their last two games, which will determine if they get into the GSC tournament. (Seth Williams/THE SPECTATOR)

Written by Bryce Ethridge, Staff Writer

Last weekend, the volleyball team took one step forward and one step back with a 3-2 loss against Christian Brothers on Friday and a 3-1 win over Union on Saturday.

Friday’s game against Christian Brothers started with some tough back-and-forth points between the two teams, which ended in a victory in the first set for the Blazers by a score of 26-24. The next set also provided some tough back-and-forth for both teams. The teams went point for point, and the match ended with the Lady Bucs winning the set with a score of 29-27.

The Bucs won the third set 25-16, but the Blazers returned with a vengeance, defeating Christian Brothers with a score of 25-14.

During the final set, both teams went tit for tat with points which came up to a 4-4 tie, but an unexpected kill by Erica Maurer for the Bucs started an 11-4 run which, led to a loss for the Blazers.

There were two double-double performances in the game for VSU. One each by Susanna Peonia and Sara Dandridge. Peonia had 13 kills and 10 digs, while Dandridge had a career-high 17 digs and 41 assists.

During the first set of Saturday’s game against Union, the Blazers kept the game close, but Union took the lead after a three-point run while the set was tied. The Blazers regained the lead after a 5-0 run, and they kept their momentum going until they won the set.

The second set started with a 3-0 Union run against VSU but was eventually tied 8-8. Union gained some momentum with a 5-0 run, but then VSU went on a 5-0 run of their own. VSU held the lead until the end of the set with a score of 25-21.

“We definitely improved on our passing, which helped us close out the set,” Sydney Chick, defensive specialist and libero, said.

VSU got behind 23-14 in the next set. They went on a six-point run, but were ultimately led to a loss in the set with a score of 25-22.

“Collectively, we tend to do better at home because we have the home crowd, but I think that this year we’ve been playing on the road better than we have been in the past,” Taylor Holder, setter and defensive specialist, said.

Head coach Mike Swan said it was nice to finish on a positive note this weekend. He said the team still has a chance to get into the Gulf South Conference tournament. He also said the team will be working on serve receives, blocking and passing in preparation for the upcoming games.

This past weekend was senior weekend, which celebrated the four senior members on the team.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Natalia Campos, senior libero, said. “I think we’re really happy with how we played. If this is the way how I’ll leave the gym, I’m okay with how the four years have been.”

The volleyball team will return to play against Alabama-Huntsville on Friday at 8 p.m. and North Alabama on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games are away and their outcomes will determine if the team will go to the Gulf South Conference tournament.

VSU is currently tied for fifth in the GSC. The top six teams make it to the conference tournament. With two games left, VSU controls their own fate. If they win both games they’re in. If not, they need some help from West Alabama and Lee University to lose in order to get in.

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