BOONE, N.C. – The University of South Alabama volleyball team defeated Appalachian State in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-17) Friday in a Sun Belt Conference East Division match at Holmes Convocation Center.
USA (12-5, 5-0 SBC) extended its win streak to five matches with win to remain perfect in Sun Belt play at 5-0. The Jaguars will square off with Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday. USA and CCU are tied for the SBC East Division lead entering the match.
– The Jaguars faced a one-point deficit before going on a 4-0 scoring run, which featured kills by Kailey Keeble and Carissa Bradford and a service ace from Keeble, to take an 11-8 lead.
– App State tied the score 17-17 on a Jaguar attack error, but South Alabama responded with a 3-0 run that was capped by a block-assist from Kennedy Wallace and Hannah Maddux to take a 20-17 lead.
– A kill by App’s Lulu Ambrose cut the Jag lead to 20-19, but consecutive kills by Bradford and Soboleski pushed the USA advantage to 22-19.
– The Mountaineers cut the South Alabama lead to 23-22 on a kill by Ambrose, but USA earned set point at 24-22 on a kill by Niki Capizzi, and clinched the set 25-22 on an App State attack error to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
– App tied the score 6-6 on a kill by Anna Kincaid, but a 4-0 South Alabama run, highlighted by a pair of kills from Bradford, gave the Jags a 10-6 lead.
– The Mountaineers used a 3-0 run to cut the USA lead to 13-12, but the Jags answered with 5-0 run, which featured a solo block by Capizzi and pair of kills from Soboleski, to take an 18-12 lead.
– App State cut the South Alabama lead to 21-18 with a 4-0 run, but the Jags responded with a 4-0 run to close out the set, earning set point at 24-18 on a block-assist by Maddux and Wallace, and clinching the set 25-18 on a service ace by Keeble to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
– USA opened the set with a 7-1 run that featured block-assists from Maddux and Wallace and Maddux and Capizzi, and kills by Maddux and Soboleski.
– Consecutive kills by Capizzi and Wallace doubled the Jag lead at 12-6.
– The Jags held a two-point advantage before going on a 4-0 run, highlighted by a kill by Soboleski and block-assist from Soboleski and Capizzi, to take a 20-14 lead.
– South Alabama closed out the set with a 3-0 run, earning match point at 24-17 on an App State attack error, and clinching the set 25-17 on a second Mountaineer attack error.
– Keeble’s double-double streak was snapped at four games. She finished with 29 assists and eight digs, along with two kills and two service aces.
– USA recorded a .259 team hitting percentage, while App State finished with a .059 hitting percentage.
– Soboleski led the Jags with 12 kills, and finished with a .258 hitting percentage, one service ace, five digs and three blocks.
– Maddux added seven kills, .294 hitting percentage, two digs and four blocks.
– Bradford finished with seven kills and three digs.
– Hickey finished with a team-high 13 digs, and also added two assists.
– Capizzi finished with four kills and four blocks, along with one dig.
– USA finished with nine total blocks in three sets, while App recorded four blocks.
– The win marked the Jags’ fifth straight, and the second consecutive sweep following last Sunday’s win in straight sets over Little Rock.
Head Coach Jesse Ortiz
– On the win:
“I thought we did a really good job in terms of execution. This team is pretty interesting; as the pass gets placed around they are constantly moving to where the ball is at with their middles, and a lot of teams don’t do that – they’re playing more of a zone. We had to have a few more long balls that we had to throw to our pins, but I love the fact that we were ready for them. We saw it on film so I thought we prepared pretty well. Kudos to them; Appalachian State played a great match. We were just a little too much on the pins, and I think that is why we won today.”
– On Sunday’s match at Coastal Carolina:
“I know they are doing well as well. We obviously follow our conference, but the team we are trying to be better than every single time is us. It is not another match, but in the same breath it is a chance for us to test ourselves against someone who has been successful and doing well. We have a confident bunch, but like anything when you get tested your confidence gets tested. I thought we did a good job tonight as this team (App) was fighting to stay with us, and I think that kind of maturity is showing.
“(Kailey) Keeble is a machine and that is a huge part is what makes us special. We have a lot of great players at every position. I feel like we are very loaded, and we have people who can come in behind them and help solidify us still. But she is a machine and it shows, and gives us a lot of versatility. I think I just keep my team motivated to just keep their heads down, one foot in front of the other and try to be good on each point – not to get to high or too low. And I’m watching them do that. They are a great bunch and they get up for each other, and I love that. But they’re also a pretty cerebral bunch, and I think that’s been a definite difference in what I’ve seen in terms of our growth for the season. They’re really on fire right now, so we’ll see what we do. It’s going to be a good match. Our season doesn’t hinge on this match, it’s just an amazing opportunity for us to test our mettle.”
South Alabama will return to action Sun., Oct. 10, when it faces Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. (CT) in Conway, S.C.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with USAJaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at Twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
Join the Rally Score Club, the volleyball specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund. All donations to the Rally Score Club go directly to support the South Alabama volleyball program. For more information on how you can join visit: jaguarathleticfund.com/rallyscoreclub.