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September 15, 2012

Southern Virginia Splits at Eastern Mennonite Tri-Match

Written by Sean Dahlin

LEXINGTON, Va.­—Despite leading both opponents 2-1 after three sets, the Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team recorded a split during Saturday's tri-match falling to Emory and Henry College 2-3 before defeating host-Eastern Mennonite University 3-2.

"It was disappointing to lose the first match having the lead after three sets, but it was good to see everybody work together and pull out the win in our second five-set match," said tenth-year Head Coach Michael Harmon. "The tri-match this weekend gives us good momentum to find a way to turn the corner as a team."

In the first game of the afternoon, Southern Virginia (1-5) jumped ahead 25-19 to see the 1-0 lead squandered as Emory and Henry (9-3) evened the matchup at 1-1, taking game 2 by the same score (25-19).

The Knight went on to jump ahead 2-1 winning a close-fought 25-22 battle to see it all slip away as the Wasps eked out game 4 25-23 before taking control of the final set 15-8 and winning the match.

Freshman Chelsea Lyons (McCallen, Texas) and junior Shyann Ison (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)—Southern Virginia's top two kills leaders so far this season— led the team with 14 and 12 kills each, while setter Katelynn Tlustek (Bedford, Ind.) recorded game-highs with 38 assists and 14 digs in the loss.

Directly after suffering a tough loss, women's volleyball turned around to take tri-match host-Eastern Mennonite to its second consecutive five-game match.

Although Southern Virginia (2-5) lost its first set 20-25 to the Royals (2-8), the Knights found themselves in familiar territory with a  2-1 lead winning sets 2 (25-17) and 3 (25-22) after again losing the advantage with their opponent winning game 4 (25-20) to extend the match.

In its second attempt of the day, Southern Virginia found a way to pull out a close 19-17 fifth-set victory over Eastern Mennonite thanks to a three-point rally when trailing 16-17 that was started by one of senior middle blocker Kelsey Beck's (Idaho Falls, Idaho) match-high 17 kills.

Tlustek complemented Beck with a season-high 46 assists plus 11 digs while Lyons contributed with a double-double of her own, recording 10 kills and team-high 14 digs.

Women's volleyball returns to action on Wednesday, Sep. 19, as it travels to face USA South-foe Averett University.