Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite extending the match to five sets for the third time this season, the Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team dropped its first home contest of the year on Wednesday evening 3-2 to Averett University (22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 13-15).
"I liked our energy level on the court, although it was difficult to lose such a close match," said tenth-year Head Women's Volleyball Coach Michael Harmon. "We were competitive and played as a cohesive unit that we will look to carry over into our final matches of the season."
Although Southern Virginia (2-11) held a .194-.174 advantage in match kill percentage over Averett (17-6), hitter Megan Sawyer spiked the final point of the game to give the Cougars to the 15-13 fifth-set advantage and match victory.
The Knights trailed most of set one until gaining a 21-18 advantage. The Cougars, however, rallied to score 7 of the final 8 points to take the first set 25-22.
In set two, the Knights evened the match as senior middle blocker Kelsey Beck (Idaho Falls, Idaho) took a pass from freshman setter Katelynn Tlustek (Bedford, Ind.) for the kill to take the 25-20 victory.
The following frames were also split as Averett recorded 12 of its 53 total team kills on route to taking a 2-1 lead after three sets before Southern Virginia returned the favor by taking a 22-14 lead on route to finishing set four over the Cougars 25-17.
"We made too many unforced errors tonight, something we'll focus on cleaning up in preparation for Friday, said Harmon."
The Knights could not overcome their 45 total errors committed in the game compared to Averett's 38 errors on the night.
Beck has a strong outing leading Southern Virginia with 15 kills and junior Tori Tuttle (Anahola, Haw.) added a complementary 11 kills with both also recording three assisted blocks apiece.
Tlustek dished out a team-high 43 assists—her season-high is 46 assists against Eastern Mennonite on Sep. 15—while juniors Jordan Geist (Jerome, Idaho) and Shyanne Ison (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) helped with 14 and 13 digs respectively.
Watch live video of women's volleyball's second-straight home match on Friday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. against Ferrum College—its 12th NCAA Division III opponent out of 14 match-ups in 2012 so far.