Knights Win Washington and Lee Invitational

Knights Win Washington and Lee Invitational

BUENA VISTA, Va. —  The Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team went undefeated during the second day of tournament play earning a first-place finish at the Washington and Lee Invitational Saturday night. 

The first game of the night featured a dominant performance by the Knights (4-3) as they swept Gettysburg College (3-4).

In the first set, Southern Virginia came out hot, using their .257 hitting average to take the first set win 25-23 and a 1-0 lead in the match. 

Set two saw the Knights struggle to connect with their hitting, but they did not let that slow them down as they mirrored their score of the first set 25-23 and a 2-0 lead in the game. 

In the third set, Southern Virginia corrected their mistakes from the second set as they had their best hitting average of the game in the third set with a .276 average, completing the sweep over the Bullets. 

Junior Kaely Rath had a game-high 15 kills while freshman Kylee Christensen and junior Ryan Dubinsky followed her with eight kills of their own. Elle Warnick had a game-high 35 assists while senior Mykynli Knight added a game-high 14 digs. Taryn Warner led the day in blocks with five. 

Game two of the day showcased Southern Virginia's first win over crosstown rival Washington and Lee University in the program's history.

The first set found the Knights (5-3) in a hole as Washington and Lee (6-1) was able to cruise to a 25-11 first set win and a 1-0 lead in the match. 

In the second set, Southern Virginia showed resilience as they were able to use a late four-point barrage to take the lead. Senior Mykynli Knight was able to close out the set with two kills of her own to tie the match at one apiece. 

The Generals were able to use five consecutive points late in the third set to take the set 25-20 on .271 hitting and a 2-1 lead over the Knights. 

Southern Virginia bounced back in the fourth set, capitalizing on two attacking errors from Washington and Lee to force a fifth set. 

"We have been in several five-set matches," said Head Coach Debby Baker. "Those experiences have helped us not to fear the fifth set, but embrace it." 

The Knights showed that they indeed embrace the fifth set as they clawed their way back and take the set 15-13 and the match 3-2 behind junior Taryn Warner's two final kills. 

"I am so happy for the team," said Coach Baker. "They never quit. That is something that you cannot coach." 

Junior Kaely Rath had a game-high 17 kills while freshman Kylee Christensen had 12 kills of her own. Elle Warnick had a game-high 43 assists as senior Mykynli Knight had a game-high 29 digs. Juniors Taryn Warner and Lindsay Wiedrich both had game-high four blocks. 

Junior Kaely Rath was named tournament MVP, and junior Taryn Warner was named to the All-Tournament team. 

Southern Virginia will travel to Roanoke College on Sept. 10 for a mid-week game starting at 7 p.m.