Appalachian State University volleyball picked up its first Southern Conference win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Elon on Saturday night at the Holmes Center. The Mountaineers (5-12, 1-2 SoCon) picked up solid performances from a pair
of underclassmen to power past the Phoenix (7-11, 0-3) and earn their second home victory of the season in the conference home opener.
Emily Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) turned her best match of the season, tallying 16 kills while adding seven digs, a service ace and a block assist. Sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) also proved to be key to App State’s offensive attack as she churned out 12 kills to go along with two aces, seven digs and two block assists.
After falling behind 12-6 early in the first set, Appalachian reeled off a 13-2 run to grab a five-point lead (19-14). The Phoenix battled back with a late run of their own to pull within two points at 23-21, but the Mountaineers were able to close out the set for a 25-22 first-set win.
Elon would bounce back with a solid second-set performance as it led for all but one point during the set. App State was able to tie the set at 23-23 late, but the Phoenix held on for a 25-23 second-set victory.
In what was perhaps the most entertaining set of the match, the Mountaineers found themselves in an early 13-8 hole in the third set, but were able to claw their way back to snag a 20-19 lead late in the set. Elon was able to gain an advantage when it put the Apps on the ropes at 24-23, but Appalachian would notch the next three points to snag a 26-24 third-set win.
The fourth set was all App State as the Mountaineers grabbed an early lead and never looked back en route to a convincing 25-17 fourth-set win and a 3-1 match victory.
Corrigan led all players in kills with her solid performance while Jessica Eley (Kansas City, Mo./Bishop Miege) added nine kills and four block assists. Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) finished the night with seven kills and three block assists.
Lauren Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) tied a career-high with 31 assists while Courtney Rhein (York, Pa./Eastern York) notched a season-high 29 digs. Elon was paced by Chanelle Smith’s 10 kills while Danielle Smith finished with eight kills and five block assists. Ali Deatsch notched 29 digs for the Phoenix and Ana Nicksic finished with 22 assists.
Appalachian State hit .150 on the attack while limiting Elon to a .082 hitting percentage. The Phoenix finished with 13 blocks to Appalachian’s 10 but committed 32 errors on the night. The Mountaineers return to action tomorrow when they face UNCG at 5 p.m. at the Holmes Center.
MATCH NOTES: The Mountaineers improved to 14-6 all-time against Elon... the Apps are now 49-38 in SoCon matches under head coach Matt GInipro... Rhein needs just 230 more digs to become App State’s all-time leader... she has recorded 1,599 career digs and needs 101 more to move into second all-time... both teams were awarded a point to begin the fourth set after red cards were issued .
Photo Courtesy: Emily Corrigan, ASU Athletics