Written by Sean Dahlin
RALEIGH, N.C.—The Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team won its second consecutive match on Friday 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-17) at NCAA Division III Meredith College.
"We're playing as a team at a high level right now," said tenth-year Head Coach Michael Harmon. "Although we fell behind early, our players pulled together and carried the momentum to our side the rest of the match."
Meredith (10-11) jumped ahead early 8-4 in the first set before Southern Virginia (5-12) climbed back and took a 12-11 lead. The first game, however, belonged to the Avenging Angels as they defeated the Knights 25-22 for a 1-0 advantage.
Southern Virginia brought the momentum back on its side the rest of the match as the Knights never trailed in the second set and won by an 11-point margin (25-14) to even the game.
Led by freshman Chelsea Lyons' (McCallen, Texas) all-around performance,—recording a season-high seven service aces while adding a team-high 20 assists with six kills—Southern Virginia won the match points for the final two sets to win 3-1 on kills from senior middle blocker Kelsey Beck (Idaho Falls, Idaho) and freshman outside hitter Shannon Romito (Walker, La.) respectively.
Junior middle blocker Tori Tuttle (Anahola, Haw.) had a team-high 12 kills while Back contributed with an additional nine kills.
Defensive specialist Jordan Geist (Jerome, Idaho) led Southern Virginia with 15 digs—leading the team with 157 on the season—and freshman setter Katelynn Tlustek (Bedford, Ind.) recorded a double-double with 17 assists and 12 digs.
Winning three of its last four contests, Southern Virginia held a .220-.099 kill percentage advantage throughout the match while also recording nine service aces compared to Meredith's four.
Women's volleyball has little time to celebrate its victory heading on the road Saturday for a tri-match against the Knights' fourth and fifth straight USA South Athletic Conference opponents in North Carolina Wesleyan College at 2 p.m. and host-Greensboro College at 4 p.m.