Volleyball Places Third at National Tournament

Photo by Justo Photography
Photo by Justo Photography

Written by Chris Pendleton

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team went 1-1 during the final day of the USCAA national tournament on Saturday placing third overall for the fourth time in the last five years.

After going 3-1 during pool play on Thursday and Friday, and winning its quarter-final matchup with UC Clermont 3-0, Southern Virginia advanced to Saturday's semi-finals, where the Knights fell to tournament host Spalding University in straight sets (25-12, 25-21, 25-11).

Freshman outside hitter Camille Tua (Lehi, Utah) led the Knights for the fourth time in five matches with 6 kills against Spalding, while junior setter Nicole Gwynn (Hamilton, Mont.) dished out a team-high 21 assists in the loss.

Following its disappointing loss to 6th-seeded Spalding, which ended the Knights title hopes, 5th-seeded Southern Virginia moved to the tournament's consolation match against 2nd-seeded Rochester College—Rochester lost its quarter-final game to top-seeded and eventual tournament champion Florida College in straight sets.

The consolation matchup between Southern Virginia and Rochester was extremely close with the Knights eventually prevailing in five games (25-17, 21-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12).

After taking the first set, Southern Virginia dropped the next two games before rebounding to take Game 4 by four points forcing a tie-breaking fifth game, which the Knights won 15-12.

Junior right side hitter Kelsey Beck (Idaho Falls, Idaho) recorded a team-high nine kills in the win, while Gwynn tallied her highest assist total of the tournament (38).  Junior middle blocker Bryndy Christensen (Idaho Falls, Idaho) had a match-high six blocks, while sophomore libero Shyanne Ison (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) led the Knights with 16 digs. 

Southern Virginia closed out its 2011 season under first-year head coach Michelle Mahaffey at 21-12 as volleyball eclipses the 20-win mark for the 11th time in the program's 15-year history.