BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team started the season with a 3-0 record this weekend at the Comfort Inn Colonnade Challenge, defeating Berry and Illinois Wesleyan today after upsetting No. 3 Emory last night.
BSC and Emory were the top two finishers of the Challenge, as Emory defeated Illinois Wesleyan and West Georgia today after splitting yesterday. West Georgia went 2-1, Berry went 1-3, and Illinois Wesleyan was 0-4 this weekend.
In today’s action, BSC defeated Berry in the 2 p.m. match, 3-1, by the scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-8, and 26-24. Junior Michelle Maciejewski led all players with 16 kills, while sophomore Jennifer McKannan led the Panthers with 27 digs and junior Milica Stojanovic led with a game-high 24 assists. Stojanovic also recorded 21 digs for a double-double, and Maciejewski tallied 14 digs for a double-double as well. Junior Sarah Harris also got in on the double-double action with 12 kills and 19 digs. Junior Caitlin Dees, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, was in double digits with 11 kills and led at the net with seven block assists and one solo block, and sophomore Christine Denning dished out 15 assists.
For Berry, All-Tournament selection Grace Brannon led with 12 kills followed by Claire Scott with 10, and Shawn Carroll led all players with 28 digs. Brannon and Scott recorded double-doubles with 18 and 14 digs, respectively, as did Ashley Weider with 16 assists and 10 digs. Megan Cheatham led the Vikings with 20 assists.
In the Panthers’ second match of the day against Illinois Wesleyan, which was the final match of the Challenge, BSC won in three sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-20). Maciejewski posted another double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs, while Harris followed with 11 kills. Stojanovic also recorded a double-double with 34 assists and 11 digs, while Alex Norten led all players with 15 digs. Dees and senior Casey Demos, who made the All-Tournament Team, led with two block assists apiece.
Emily Hagen, another All-Tournament selection, led IWU with 12 kills, Jen Callanan led with 21 assists, and Teresa Kirk led with 14 digs. Michelle Malinowski and Stacy Hassinger were also in double digits with 13 and 10 digs, respectively.
In other action today, West Georgia defeated Berry (20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18, 15-11), Emory defeated Illinois Wesleyan (25-23, 20-25, 25-11, 24-26, 15-12), and Emory defeated West Georgia (25-21, 25-12, 25-12).
The Panthers are back in action next weekend, traveling to St. Louis, Mo., for the Washington University/Asics National Invitational, where they will face No. 11 Ohio Northern and No. 2 Washington University on Friday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and No. 22 Central College and No. 24 California Lutheran on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.