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September 2, 2011

Volleyball Opens Season with Four Consecutive Wins at Cougar Classic

Written by Sean Dahlin

DANVILLE, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team opened its 2011 season by winning all four of its matches at the 17th Annual Cougar Classic hosted by Averett University.

"It's great to start the season 4-0," said Southern Virginia's first year head coach Michelle Mahaffey. "It was great to see our players implement things we have been working on in practice."

The Knights began their victorious march through the tournament by defeating Greensboro on Friday in a five-set match 3-2 (25-17, 25-14, 23-25, 21-25, 15-11).

Southern Virginia found itself in the driver's seat early, winning the first two sets from the Pride 25-17 and 25-14. Greensboro, however, rallied back to even the series 2-2 defeating Southern Virginia 25-23 and 25-21 in consecutive sets. In the end, the Knights were able to pull out the hard fought victory by holding off the pesky Pride 15-11 in the deciding set.

The nightcap on Friday against Roanoke proved to be even more successful for Southern Virginia as the Knights improved to 2-0 by taking the match 3-1 in four sets against the Maroons.

Southern Virginia found itself in uncharted territory by losing the first set to Roanoke 19-25, but then won the final three sets 25-20, 25-18 and 25-18.

The Knights appeared to hit their stride offensively and defensively on Saturday as they blanked Emory & Henry and Guilford 3-0 in consecutive matches en route to their 4-0 start this season

Southern Virginia head volleyball coach Michelle Mahaffey had her team ready to play Saturday morning as the Knights won three consecutive matches (25-8, 25-14, 25-19) against Emory & Henry handing the Wasps their second loss of the young season.

"Things really started clicking for us on Saturday against Emory & Henry," said Mahaffey. "We jumped out to a 20-4 lead in the first set and really kept it rolling throughout the match."

Southern Virginia stayed hot in its fourth and final game of the Cougar Classic defeating Guilford in three quick sets 25-16, 25-16, 25-15.

Southern Virginia's junior middle blocker Bryndy Christensen (Idaho Falls, Idaho) and senior Brynn McGinn (Bedford, Ind.) were named to the Cougar Classic all-tournament team following the Knights' undefeated run through the weekend.

Women's volleyball has six days off before playing four more games against NCAA Division III competition in next weekend's (Sept. 9-10) Washington and Lee Invitational.