posted on December 02, 2009 12:19
SIOUX CITY, Iowa-- The University of Mobile volleyball team defeated No. 11 Vanguard University 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-19) in pool play action at the 2009 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Wednesday afternoon.
Mobile (26-12) will battle 16th-ranked Taylor University Thursday at 1 pm to close out pool play action. The top two teams from the pool advance to a single-elimination bracket Friday-Saturday.
Seniors Whitney Knight and Paula Stilkey led the way for Mobile. Knight racked up 14 kills and 9 digs, while Stilkey finished with 12 kills and 13 digs. Alyson Kovacs finished with a team-high 17 digs, Melody Tenney had 38 assists and 13 digs, and Cassy Johnson and Shea McBee combined for 13 kills and 12 blocks.
Heather Dejongh led Vanguard with 16 kills, while Ariel Strickler had 19 digs.
In the first set, the Lady Rams led early 4-3, but never led again after Vanguard went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 8-4. The Lady Rams tied it up 20-20 on a Johnson kill, but Vanguard pulled ahead and held on with a pair of Dejongh kills down the stretch.
The second set featured an impressive comeback by Mobile. The Lady Rams trailed 10-2, but went on a 7-3 run to close the gap. Vanguard pulled back to an 18-12 lead, but the Lady Rams went on a 10-1 run to take a 22-19 lead. Knight and Stilkey combined for four kills in the run and Mobile took its first lead at 19-18 on a Shea McBee kill. The set was tied 24-24, but Stilkey and Kelly Sherling picked up kills to finish it off 26-24 in favor of Mobile.
Vanguard led 15-11 in the third set, but the Lady Rams, but down 16-18, Mobile went on a 9-0 run to close it out with four kills and five Vanguard errors.
The Lady Rams had a little easier time of it in the final set, leading from start to finish. It was close early, but Mobile turned a slim 13-11 lead into a cushy 17-11 advantage thanks to four Vanguard errors. UM pulled away from there for the 25-19 win.