Behind a career-best 31 kills from senior Anna Wagner (Lincoln, Neb./FGCU), Appalachian State University volleyball earned a 3-1 victory over NC State in the season opener for both teams.
U), Appalachian State University volleyball earned a 3-1 victory over NC State in the season opener for both teams. The Mountaineers tallied a 25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23 win in front of 738 raucous fans at the Appalachian Invitational.
Wagner started the night strong with eight kills in the first set, including ASU’s final four points in the opening round. She finished the night with 31 kills on 52 attempts for a .462 hitting percentage. The senior added eight digs, three blocks and a pair of aces.
The Apps started quickly in the first set and jumped out to a 12-4 lead before the Wolfpack (0-1) clawed back within three points at 17-14. Solid serving from Lauren Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James), Kelly Rhein (York, Pa./Virginia) and freshman Lauren Gray (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock) helped the Apps regain a comfortable advantage to cruise to the 25-19 win.
ASU (1-0) never trailed in the second set and after a tight 12-10 score, Appalachian scored three-straight points and held off a late NCSU rally for another 25-19 win.
NC State then battled back after the intermission for a win in the third set to keep their hopes alive. Neither team led by more than three points throughout the hard-fought set, but a pair of consecutive ASU attack errors allowed the Pack to break a 23-23 stalemate to earn the win.
The fourth and final set was equally close, featuring nine ties and four lead changes. The Mountaineers battled back from their largest deficit of the match at 15-20 with a furious 10-3 rally to the finish, punctuated by a pair of Wagner kills and another from classmate Alison Blasingame (Yorktown, Va./Virginia Tech).
Kelly Rhein joined Wagner in double figures with 10 kills, and nearly completed a double-double with nine digs. The senior hit .269 on the night with a block. Blasingame added nine kills on 20 attacks with three digs and a block of her own.
Kasey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) converted a double-double with 50 assists and 10 digs to accompany a pair of kills and a block. Courtney Rhein (York, Pa./Eastern York) led the squad with 20 digs and six assists.
In her collegiate debut, Gray started and tallied five kills and five blocks on the front row.
Margaret Salata led NCSU with 15 kills while two of her teammates reached double figures in digs. The Apps out-hit the ACC foe .264 to .218 in the match and owned a 4-2 advantage on service aces. The Wolfpack out-blocked the Apps 10-6.
Tournament round robin play concludes on Saturday, as ASU faces Kennesaw State at 12:30 p.m. and Charlotte at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Wagner’s 31 kills are the most since Brittany Zahn set the program record at 36 kills in 2007 ... her previous high was 14 kills, set last season ... Friday’s 738 attendance set the facility record for a second match in a row, as ASU drew 635 fans to the 2010 SoCon Tournament quarterfinal last November to break the record of 407, which had stood since 2005 ... in the early match on Friday, Charlotte snuck past Kennesaw State, 3-2.
ASU Women's Soccer Falls to William & Mary
In its first road game of the season, Appalachian women's soccer fell, 2-0, to William & Mary at the VCU Tournament on Friday evening. With the loss, the Mountaineers slip to 0-2-0 on the year, while William & Mary improves to 2-0-0.
The Tribe scored its first in the 39th minute, as Kiersten Harpe followed up on a corner kick attempt and found the back of the net for her first goal of the year.
In the second half, Dani Rutter increased the lead after breaking loose and finding the bottom of the net for her first score of the season.
On the game, the Tribe took a 19-3 advantage in shots and an 8-2 lead in corner kicks.
Keeper Amy Kolowsky made six saves on the day and allowed her first non-penalty goals of the season.
ASU will face tournament host VCU on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m.