Panthers upend No. 3 Emory, 3-2, in season opening Comfort Inn Challenge

Tournament Central

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In the final match of the day of the 2008 Comfort Inn Colonnade Challenge, the Birmingham-Southern volleyball team upset No. 3 Emory, 3-2, Friday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Eagles won the first set, 25-22, but the Panthers stormed back with 25-21 and 25-13 victories in the second and third sets. Emory tied things up with a 25-22 victory in the fourth set, and the fifth set came down to the wire, with BSC winning 15-13.

Junior Sarah Harris led the Panthers with 15 kills, and she and junior Alex Norten led with 18 digs. Junior Michelle Maciejewski also posted a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs, and senior Casey Demos was in double digits with 12 kills. Junior Milica Stojanovic and sophomore Christine Denning shared the setting duties, with Stojanovic dishing out 27 assists and Denning recording 19. Junior Morgan Anderson led BSC at the net with three block assists.

For the Eagles, Dani Huffman led with 17 kills, followed by Alysse Meyer with 15. Setter Madison Robelen posted a double-double with 48 assists and a game-high 21 digs, while Vista Murphy and Brannan O’Neill were also in double digits with 15 and 13 digs, respectively. Huffman also led Emory with three block assists.

In other action at the Challenge, Berry defeated Illinois Wesleyan, 3-2, in the first match of the day by the scores of 22-25, 25-21, 25-27, 25-17, and 15-8.

Grace Brannon led the Vikings with 14 kills and 21 digs, followed by Erin Godwin with 12 kills and Meghan Francis with 10. Ashley Weider led with 27 assists, while Megan Cheatham dished out 15. Shawn Carroll recorded 21 digs, followed by Stephanie Post with 10. Francis, Godwin, and Kayla Carlisle all posted three block assists at the net as well, with Francis recorded three solo blocks.

For IWU, Michelle Malinowski led offensively with 13 kills and also posted 14 digs, while Emily Hagen got 11 kills and Jackie Wrobel posted 17 digs. Lori Johnson led with three block assists for the Titans.

In the second match of the day, Emory was victorious over Berry in another five-set match, winning by scores of 25-15, 25-13, 20-25, 23-25, and 15-10.

Kelsey Krzyston led Emory with 16 kills and also posted 12 digs, followed by Meyer with 11 kills. Natalie Schonefeld dished out a game-high 41 assists along with 10 digs, and Murphy led the Eagles with 16 digs. Maggie Baird led at the net with three block assists.