The Appalachian State volleyball team dominated play in its final two contests at the James Madison Classic on Saturday, Sept. 17.
The Mountaineers (7-6) picked up a 3-1 win over Middle Tennessee State to start the day before taking down tournament host James Madison, 3-0, to wrap up the weekend. The Apps return home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET against Wake Forest after spending the past three weekends on the road.
Match 1 - ASU 3, ETSU 1
The Mountaineers set the tone early with a dominating first set to pick up a 3-1 win over East Tennessee State (6-7) in Saturday’s first match. Appalachian fell behind by two points early but rebounded with five straight points to take a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish.
ETSU would close the gap to as little as two points (12-10) midway through the first set, but the Apps pulled away for a 25-17 first set win.
The Lady Bucs scored a second set victory by a 25-22 final by shutting down Appalachian after netting the first point of the set to tie the match at 1-1. Both squads battled through an intense third set that showcased nine ties and four lead before the Mountaineers netted the final two points in a 28-26 third set victory.
The Apps dominated the fourth and final set to the tune of a 25-18 set win. ETSU scored the first point of the set but would never lead again after Appalachian answered with two straight points.
Alison Blasingame (Yorktown, Va./Virginia Tech/Grafton) and Maggie Seeds (Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth) each tallied 12 ills in the set while Kasey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) tallied 31 assists. The Apps hit .250 as a team while holding ETSU to just a .156 attack percentage.
Match 2 - ASU 3, JMU 0
The Mountaineers ended their weekend at the JMU Classic with a dominant three-set win over the host Dukes to record their first back-to-back wins since the opening weekend of the 2011 season.
Appalachian scored a thrilling 28-26 win in a first-set slugfest that featured 16 ties and five led changes. JMU jumped out to its largest lead of the set (15-12) after pair of errors, but the Apps would recover to tie the set at 16-16 just moments later.
Neither team would lead by more than two points the rest of the way as the Mountaineers eventually put the Dukes on the ropes at 25-24 before James Madison staved off a loss twice in the closing points. A service error by JMU was followed up b a kill from Sauls for the win.
The second set saw the Apps jump out to a 3-0 lead and cruise on their way to a 25-20 win in which James Madison never tied the set or came within more than three points after Appalachian took an 11-8 lead near the midway point.
The third and final set seemed destined to go the way of the home team after the Dukes raced out to an early 8-3 lead and led by as many as six points (15-9) midway through the set.
Appalachian would rally to score nine of the next 11 points to take an 18-17 lead late in the match. The Apps would outscore JMU 7-4 the rest of the way en route to a 25-21 match-clinching victory.
Anna Wagner (Lincoln, Neb./Florida Gulf Coast/Lincoln East) led the Mountaineers with 14 kills while Seeds finished with 12. Sauls was solid again with 28 assists in the match.
ASU out-hit the Dukes .233 to .105 and finished with eight blocks to JMU’s seven. Appalachian forced 20 attack errors and recorded 45 assists as a team.
Sauls and Seeds each earned JMU Classic all-tournament honors for their performances over the weekend. Sauls hit .444 in three matches while tallying 77 assists and 29 digs. Seeds led the Apps with 31 kills on the weekend while hitting .286 and picking up seven block assists.
Appalachian Women's Tennis Concludes Liberty Tournament
Appalachian State women’s tennis concluded play at the Liberty Fall Classic on Saturday. Eight Mountaineers represented ASU on the courts, with several posting winning records.
In the A-singles draw, Jennifer Ansari lost her semifinal match but successfully clinched third place. Freshman Gabby Gabriel won two straight to win the consolation side of the B-singles bracket, and Kim-Lea Dinh also had a 2-0 day in D singles. Gisela Fernandez secured third place in the F-singles draw.
In doubles, Jessica Thaggard and Gabriela Celi went undefeated with a 8-7(4) win over their opponents from Longwood in the B draw.
Appalachian continues its fall competition at the ITA Carolina Regional Championship hosted by North Carolina, October 20-24.