Special Report to Blowing Rock News from App State Sports. By Ben Winterrowd. October 23, 2015. STATESBORO, GA — Appalachian State University volleyball continued its overall and conference dominance with a convincing 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-19) sweep of Georgia Southern on Friday night.
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The Mountaineers (16-4, 9-0 Sun Belt) extended their winning streak to 12 games and remained unbeaten in the Sun Belt Conference with the drubbing of the Eagles.
“Great win for us on the road on the floor where the Sun Belt Championships will be played,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “Our focus is to keep improving each time we are on the court and get to how we want to play when we come back to Statesboro next month. Our execution keeps getting better, which is exactly what needs to happen at this time of year.”
Jess Keller (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) powered the Mountaineer offense and led all student-athletes with 19 kills and finished with a .283 hitting percentage – the only Mountaineer to record double-digit kills on the night.
In the opening set and the score knotted at 3-3 early on, Georgia Southern recorded four-straight attack errors to put App State in front 7-3 leading to an Eagle timeout. Out of the timeout, the Eagles would close the gap and tie the set twice before Mountaineers received three-straight kills from Keller.
After another Eagle timeout, App State would keep its distance with Georgia Southern and maintain at least a three-point lead through the remainder of the set. Following an App State timeout, kills from Emily Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) and Keller helped seal the set victory for Appalachian.
With both teams finding points early in the second set, the Black and Gold pulled away with a 9-3 run at 13-10 to take a commanding 22-13 lead. The run was highlighted by five kills from Keller, including three-straight at one point to keep the Eagles at bay. At 22-13, two Eagle errors and a Meghan Mahoney (Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley) service ace clinched the second set for Appalachian.
The closest set of the match came in the third set. App State raced out to a 6-3 lead behind two kills from Keller and a kill each from Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and Alana Shoff (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic). The Eagles came roaring back on a 6-3 run of their own to knot it at 9-9.
After two tied scores, the Eagles built a slim two-point advantage at 15-13. Getting the set tied at 16-16, Appalachian went up by two following a service ace from Olivia Reed (Gainesville, Fla./Buccholz) and a kill from Gregory. Out of a Georgia Southern timeout, the Eagles would get to within one point at 18-17, but kills from Corrigan, Keller and a match-ending kill from Shoff sealed the victory for App State.
Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) tallied 33 more assists on the night, while also tallying one kill. Mahoney led the defense and both squads with 20 digs – the only Mountaineer to tally double-digit digs.
Appalachian State will return to action tomorrow night when it takes on Georgia State. Last week in Boone, the Mountaineers won 3-1 on their home floor and will look to remain unbeaten in Sun Belt play, as well as, extend their winning streak to 13.