ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The West Virginia Wesleyan volleyball team dropped its season opening matches against Embry-Riddle (5-0) and Shorter (4-2) on Friday (Sept. 10) and Flagler (5-2) and Lindenwood (5-3) on Saturday (Sept. 11) at Flagler Gymnasium in St. Augustine, Fla.
WVWC Day One Leaders
Junior Joelle Lalla and sophomore Michela Ayers both notched 12 total kills. Nine of Lalla’s kills came in the match versus Shorter. The outside hitter from Columbus, Ohio added one solo block and eight block assists to her stat sheet. Lalla accumulated 17.0 points in two matches. Lalla led all players in the points category with 12.0 points versus Shorter. Ayers smashed seven kills in the match versus Embry-Riddle and five kills in the contest against Shorter. Defensively, Ayers snagged eight digs and four block assists on the day.
Two Bobcat players had double-digit assist totals. Payton Hefner had 23 assists while freshman Sarah McCall had 11 assists over her first two collegiate matches. Madison Boswell hit three service aces in one set versus Embry-Riddle. Emily Reed accumulated two service aces on the first day of competition. Autumn Molenhouse racked up 10 digs on the first day in the Flagler Saints Classic.
Embry-Riddle 3, WVWC 0
The Bobcats took the first two points of the match with Payton Hefner serving. The Eagles responded by going on a 7-1 run to jump out to an early 7-3 lead. Lalla smashed a kill to bring Wesleyan within three points. Wesleyan would not get closer to Embry-Riddle’s lead the remainder of the set. The Eagles claimed the first set, 25-12.
Embry-Riddle controlled the second set and did not concede consecutive points to WVWC. The Eagles went on two 5-0 runs and cruised to a 25-11 set two win.
In the third set, the match was scored at two when Embry-Riddle’s offense ignited an 8-1 run to go ahead 11-3. Both teams traded the next four points to put the score at 12-6. The Eagles took the next five points to extend their lead to 17-6. After an Eagles’ service error, Madison Boswell connected on two consecutive service aces. Following an Erin Knight kill, Boswell again hit another service ace to put Wesleyan within six points. However, Embry-Riddle closed out set three 25-15 and won the match in three sets.
Shorter 3, WVWC 0
With the first set tied 6-6, the Hawks won seven consecutive points. After the Bobcats won two points, Shorter took the next five points to extend their lead 18-8. The Hawks were victorious in set one 25-17.
With Shorter leading 22-15 late in the second set, the Bobcats won six straight points to close the margin within one. Boswell’s kill put the score at 22-21, but the Hawks won the next three points to escape set two with a 25-21 victory.
Shorter won the first four points of the third set. Wesleyan tied the score at 6-6 again after a Hawk attack error. Shorter went on an 8-2 run to make the score 14-8. Wesleyan responded with a 5-1 run of their own to close the Shorter lead to 15-13. The Hawks were able to pull away to take the third set, 25-19.
WVWC Day Two Leaders
Sophomore outside hitter Makenzie Yates led all Bobcat hitters with 11 kills in the two matches. Yates had seven kills in the first match of the day versus Flagler. Joelle Lalla and Hope Arce-Reed each added nine kills. Madison Boswell and Michela Ayers both had eight kills each on the day. Boswell led the Bobcats with four service aces. Payton Hefner totaled 25 assists and Maddi Carpenter tallied 11 assists in the second day of action.
Defensively, Autumn Molenhouse accumulated 23 digs. Molenhouse had one service ace in each match. Hefner eclipsed the double-digit mark for digs on the day, accumulating ten digs. Lalla and Boswell each had two block assists on the final day of competition.
Flagler 3, WVWC 0
After a service ace from Boswell, Arce-Reed tallied a kill to put the Bobcats ahead 4-1. Ayers recorded the ‘Cats second service ace of the first set to make the score 8-5 WVWC. Yates’ third kill of the opening set increased the Bobcats lead to 12-8. A kill from Boswell put Wesleyan up 14-9. The Saints responded with a 12-3 run and pulled ahead 21-17. The Bobcats won the next two points thanks to a kill from Yates and an ace from Molenhouse. But Flagler won the last four points and took set one 25-19.
With the score tied 4-4 in set two, Flagler won four consecutive points. Flagler increased their lead to 11-5. A kill by Arce-Reed cut the deficit to five points. The Saints took a 16-8 lead. Wesleyan won the next two points to cut the Flagler lead to six. The Saints closed out set two on a 9-3 run and won set two 25-13.
Flagler scored on six consecutive points to take an 18-7 lead in the third set. A service ace from Boswell cut the Flagler lead to 20-12. The Bobcats fought back and won four consecutive points to cut into the lead. Carpenter’s service ace made the score 21-16 in favor of the Saints. Flagler was victorious in set three 25-18 and won the match in straight sets.
Lindenwood 3, WVWC 0
The Lions won the first five points of the first set. Yates got WVWC on the board with a kill. Lindenwood took seven out of the next eight points to put the score at 12-2. The Lions scored seven unanswered points later in the set to make the score 21-7. The opening set went to Lindenwood, 25-10.
With the Bobcats down two points in the second set, Boswell slammed a kill to make the score 10-9 Lindenwood. Boswell put the Bobcats ahead 11-10 on her second kill of the set. An attack error by the Lions increased the Wesleyan lead to two. The Bobcats led 13-12 when Lindenwood won the next six points to regain the lead 18-13. Wesleyan cut the Lindenwood lead to 218-18, but the Lions won the second set 25-18.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the third set thanks to two kills from Boswell and a kill from Yates. Wesleyan held a steady lead in the early goings of the third set. Lindenwood tied the game 7-7. The two teams traded points and the score was tied at nine. The Lions won the next five points to take a 14-9 lead. Lindenwood went on to win set three 25-17.