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Volleyball Splits with Win Over Salem and Loss to Cougars

Elisabeth Smith

DANVILLE, Va. -- The Meredith College volleyball Angels split in Saturday's USA South action. MCVB dropped a 3-1 (25-17, 18-25, 13-25, 21-25) loss to Averett in the day's opener, and finished off the Salem Spirits 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22). Caroline Corey led the Avenging Angels with 21 kills on the day, and Elisabeth Smith posted 15.

Game 1
Meredith opened the day strong versus the host Cougars with Emily Skoglund at the service line. Hannah Blaylock peppered assists across the attack line, including a trio of kills from Alex Hafliger and two from rookie Carson Jones, to place MCVB out front 9-2. But back-to-back winners from AU along with a pair of missteps from the Angels cut the deficit to three.

The rivals battled and E. Smith landed a pair of kills en route to another seven-point MCVB advantage at 17-10. Averett called for a timeout and returned to the court for four consecutive points to pull back to within three.

Jones and Corey finished back-to-back assists from Blaylock to end Averett's surge, and Meredith finished off the set for a 1-0 lead.

MCVB's advantage was shortlived as Averett returned to the court on a mission. The Cougars controlled a 9-4 lead to force a Meredith timeout and scored five of the next seven for a second Angel break in the action. AU would extend their advantage to 10 before a stuff from Hafliger and E. Smith shifted the momentum back in favor of Meredith.

The play rattled Averett into three unforced errors, but winners from Jones and Corey would fall short as AU evened the match.

The teams battled in the third frame with rally's on both sides of the net to even the score at 10-10. But four consecutive Cougar points lifted the hosts who scored 11 of the last 14 points for a 2-1 match advantage.

In the fourth and final set, Meredith recovered from an eight-point deficit at 11-3 with six of the next eight points. But a pair of kills from AU's Sheilds ended the rally. The two teams exchanged points during the next series until Cathy Delano landed a winner from Blaylock. Blaylock dished out assists to Corey and E. Smith, and Haley Reeg paired up with E. Smith for a stuff as MCVB trailed by just one at 20-19.

AU quickly spread the gap again to four until E. Smith and Jones each found a gap to cut into the Cougar advantage. But Meredith ran out of time as the hosts tallied two more points to secure the win.

Game 2
A brief rest between games helped the Avenging Angels jump out to an early 7-3 lead over Salem. E Smith added another winner, and Reeg landed two service aces to extend the MCVB lead to six. A pair of Angel miscues allowed the Spirits to close the gap until a 5-0 rally gave Meredith enough steam to finish off the win.

Set two followed a similar pattern with the Avenging Angels maintaining a lead throughout the frame for a 2-0 MCVB advantage.

Salem fought back to a 15-14 lead, but Reeg launched a 7-1 Meredith rally to pull the Angels out of the hole. Reeg and Jones landed two more winners, and Meredith held on for a straight-set victory.

The Avenging Angels host cross-town rival William Peace Wednesday night in a 7 p.m. pairing just before Fall Break. Follow the live action HERE.