BUENA VISTA, VA. In a match that went the distance the Southern
Virginia Volleyball team overcame a committed Concord University
team to win 3-2 (25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25 and 15-7.)
The Knights were quick out of the gate and won the first two games with ease. All signs pointed to an easy victory in front of the home crowd. The Mountain Lions had other ideas, and some feisty play allowed for the visitors to get back in to the match.
"We started very strong in the first two games," said Head Coach Brian Pendleton. "We just played too tentative in games 3 and 4, and it came back to haunt us. We'll definitely work on the ability to finish off a game quickly. No one wants to play five games, but the experience and lessons learned will help us down the road."
A trio of Knights paced the team with 12 kills apiece. Rika Larsen, Ashley Miles and Aubrey Muaina provided the offense the Knights needed to finish off Concord. Ali Krebs was again the hub of the entire offensive output as she recorded 50 assists on the game.
SVU was close in game 3, and had the Mountain Lions on the ropes, but was unable to finish off the game, and Concord played strong in game 4 to force the deciding game 5. The Knights were not about to go empty handed after playing so hard, and jumped out to a commanding 10-5 lead, and then finished off the visitors with a strong display of defense and serving. All told the Knights recorded 16 aces on the night, and used the serve to great effect in putting off Concord, and securing the win.
"Concord is a young and up-and-coming team," said Pendleton. "It's good we were able to get this win tonight. When we return the game later in the season, it will be just like this, and hopefully we'll be a better team and won't need to go to five games to win a match. We need to work on eliminating unforced errors. When we play tentative, we make crucial mistakes, and we can give away games. I'm happy for the win, but we still have work to do."
The Knights now stand at 5-5 on the season. They travel to Washington & Lee Sept. 11-12 for a tournament hosted by the Generals. Opponents at the tournament include Emory and Juniata, the first and second place team in the NCAA D-III National Tournament in 2008.