Appalachian State University volleyball picked up its first win of the 2012 season when it split a pair of matches at the Lipscomb Volleyball Invitational on Friday at Allen Arena. The Mountaineers (1-5) fell to the host Bison (1-3) by scores
of 25-11, 25-18 and 28-26 in the first match of the day before snagging a victory over Houston (0-5) in a grueling five-set match to cap off the evening.
Appalachian continues play tomorrow when it faces Missouri at 1:30 p.m. to finish its weekend schedule.
Lipscomb 3, Appalachian State 0
After taking a quick 2-1 lead in the first set, the Apps fell behind when Lipscomb mounted a 14-2 run to take a commanding lead and snag a first-set victory. The Bison were also able to maintain control throughout the second set as they scored the first point and never trailed, leading by as many as eight points (16-8) en route to a 25-18 second-set win.
Appalachian came alive in the third set when, after trailing by as many as six points (17-11) in the late stages, it rallied with a 10-3 run to grab a 21-20 lead. Lipscomb was able to jump back in front and had a chance to close out the match, but the Mountaineers staved off defeat three times before the Bison finally put down the match winning ace for a 28-26 set win and a 3-0 match victory.
Courtney Rhein (York. Pa./Eastern York) finished with a team-high 12 digs while Lauren Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) and Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) each registered double-digit assist totals with 14 and 13, respectively. Lauren Gray (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock) tallied a career-high nine block assists and Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) posted 10 kills.
Jewell Dobson and Kaycee Green paced the Bison with 15 kills apiece while Caitlin Dotson tallied a match-high 43 assists. The Mountaineers were held to an attack percentage of just .129 while Lipscomb finished with a .235 hitting percentage, including a blistering .423 in the first set. App State totaled 13 blocks in the match while the Bison recorded just three.
Appalachian State 3, Houston 2
The Mountaineers picked up their first win of the season in thrilling fashion in the second match on Friday. Appalachian snuck by Houston by scores of 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 24-26 and 15-8. After storming out to an 8-0 lead in the first set, the Mountaineers were forced to hold on for dear life as the Cougars rallied several times before falling by three points.
Houston rebounded in the second set thanks in part to a late four-point run that propelled it to a 25-18 second-set win. The third set featured five ties but just one lead change, which was all the Apps would need en route to a 25-17 set victory. With the Cougars holding an early 4-3 edge, the Mountaineers struck for three-straight points and never trailed the rest of the way to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In what turned out to be the most thrilling set of the day, the Cougars were able to stay alive by eking out a 26-24 fourth-set victory. The set featured nine ties and five lead changes, as Houston was able to stave off defeat with three-straight points to pull the match even at 2-2. The Mountaineers dominated the final set of the match, using a 7-0 run after trailing 1-0 to earn its first victory of the season in its first five-set match of the year.
Tolliver paced the Apps with 19 kills while Jacqui Spurgeon (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) tallied a career-high 18. Lindsey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) also finished with a double-digit kill total (12) while Gray led all players with five total blocks.
Rhein netted a match-high 27 digs and P. Brown finished with a season-best 38 assists. The Apps hit .273 as a team while limiting Houston to a .227 attack percentage. The Cougars finished with 23 errors and six blocks while App State committed just 18 errors and blocked nine attacks.
MATCH NOTES: The Mountaineers have now won three-straight five-set matches dating back to Nov. 13, 2011... Rhein increased her career dig total to 1,419 to move into third-place in school history in digs... Appalachian improved to 32-20 all-time against teams from Conference USA... Spurgeon doubled her previous career-high of nine kills, set on Tuesday at Winthrop.
Photo Courtesy: Jacqui Spurgeon, ASU Athletics