Upset Bid Comes Up Short at No. 7 West Florida

PENSACOLA, FLA – So close!!!!! The Montevallo volleyball team came within a whisker of pulling off the biggest upset of the season, pushing 7th-ranked West Florida to the limit before falling 3-2. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for UM, who slipped to 14-13 and 5-7 in the Gulf South Conference. Meanwhile, UWF improved to 28-1 and 13-0 with their 23rd consecutive win.

Despite the loss, head coach Katie O’Brien was encouraged by her team’s fight against the powerful Argonauts. “We are very proud of the team’s efforts tonight,” she said. “West Florida is a good team and we challenged them.  We were scrappy and went the distance just falling a little short.”

Senior outside hitter Evelina Teran had 19 kills to lead the Falcons. Allie Dishman added 11 kills and three aces, while Colton Thompson and Sav Roys contributed 20 assists each. On defense, reigning GSC Defensive Player of the Week Megan Schram finished with 16 digs, while Roys completed her double-double with 13 digs.

As if the Falcons didn’t face a tall task already, they took the floor shorthanded Tuesday night, missing three starters from the lineup. In the first set, it looked like the Falcons would have a long night as UWF cruised 25-14. But, the Falcons rebounded to spring a surprise on the host Argos. Trailing 21-19 late, UM scored three straight points to take the lead. An ace by Dishman gave the Falcons a 22-21 lead. Dishman’s next serve was errant, tying the score at 22-all. However, three straight errors by UWF resulted in a 25-22 win for the Falcons, tying the match at 1-1.

West Florida took the next set 25-18, pushing the Falcons to the brink. However, UM refused to fold their tents. The Falcons broke open a 10-10 game with a 5-0 run. Jillian Morgan capped the rally with a kill, making the score 15-10. The lead grew to 20-13 and the Falcons claimed a 25-19 victory to force a fifth set.

In the deciding set Dishman led off with an ace to start. However, her next serve missed the target, tying the score at 1-1. The Falcons wouldn’t score another offensive point until the set was out of reach. A kill by Morgan made the score 10-4 in favor of UWF. The Argonauts went on the seal the win, taking the match 15-6. 

Even with the setback, the Falcons are still in the hunt for a spot at the GSC party tournament with four matches remaining. The Falcons are currently 8th in the GSC, a half game behind West Georgia (6-7) and a full game in the Mississippi College’s (6-6) rear view. UM is a full game in front of Valdosta State and Lee University who are both 4-8. The Falcons visits Lee on Friday night, then hosts 2nd place Alabama-Huntsviille on Saturday. The Falcons will cap off the regular season at home next Friday and Saturday against West Alabama and Mississippi College. 

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