3-0 win over Bridgewater sends Marlins into semifinals
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College's volleyball Marlins set a tone early in Wednesday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference quarterfinal tournament match and rolled to a 3-0 victory over Bridgewater College at The Jane P. Batten Student Center.
The Marlins (14-16) raced out to a 6-1 lead over the Eagles (15-16) in the first game, extended it to 12-2, and eventually posted a 25-19 first game victory. VWC went on to post a 25-21 win in the second game and wrapped up the match with a 25-15 third game victory.
Virginia Wesleyan advances to the ODAC semifinals for the sixth time in eight years, playing Saturday, Nov. 5, at Washington & Lee University (26-7) at a time to be announced. The Generals slipped by VWC, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19 earlier this season.
VWC's win over Bridgewater was the third in a row against the Eagles and squared the series between the schools at five wins each. Bridgewater, which entered the tourney game on a two-match winning streak, led sporadically against the Marlins. The first time was early in the second game when Katie Baker (Strasburg, Va./Strasburg) and Mara Hogan (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) blocked a shot to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
Bridgewater stayed in front for several plays, before VWC took the lead for good at 13-12 on a Kala Guy (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) kill. Alex Lambert (Alexandria, Va./Hayfield) followed with a block and a kill to make it a 15-12 lead, which expanded to 21-16 on a Lambert ace.
Bridgewater also led 2-1 in the third game, but Kerry Johnson (Richmond, Va./J.R. Tucker) put down a kill to tie the score and the Eagles never led again. Kills by Alex Kirk (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson), Taylor Allen (Bowie, Md./Bladensburg Elizabeth Seton) and Tempe Martens (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) helped the Marlins open up an 8-4 lead. VWC stretched its lead to 14-9 and 19-11 and never looked back.
Guy led VWC with 11 kills, increasing her season total to a career high 347, the third highest total in Marlin history. She also recorded a pair of aces to match her career high total of 55. She also led the Marlins with 11 digs, while senior Erin Paton (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) added eight. Allen produced four aces and Allie Bal (Bogata, N.J./Bogata) recorded 17 assists. Rookie Mallory Slade (Burlington, N.C./Eastern Alamance) added 16 assists.
Hogan led Bridgewater with 12 kills and 11 digs. Casey O'Leary (Quinton, Va./New Kent) also had 11 digs. Lindsay Kallam (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) recorded 21 assists.