August 31, 2013

Panthers win Huntingdon Volleyball Jubilee

MONTGOMERY, Ala.—With 3-0 wins against LaGrange and Huntingdon today, the Birmingham-Southern volleyball team won the Huntingdon Jubilee today in Montgomery, Ala.

It's the second year that BSC has won the Jubilee; the Panthers now stand at 4-0 on the season and have won all four matches in straight sets.

BSC defeated LaGrange by the scores of 25-17, 25-14, 25-14. The first set started out close, with LaGrange leading 13-11 before BSC scored four straight points to take and keep the lead, staying ahead down the stretch and scoring four straight points to put the match away, culminating in the set-winning kill from junior Katie O'Bar. Set two began in a similar fashion, neck-and-neck, before BSC used an 11-0 run to take a 21-9 lead and never looked back, winning on a LaGrange attack error. The third set was more of the same, with the teams essentially trading points and LaGrange taking a 12-11 lead before BSC out-scored the other Panthers 14-2 to win the set and the match.

Senior Alex Bothe led with 12 kills and had a double-double with 14 digs as well, while sophomore setter Emily Dang had 15 assists. Sophomore Lauren Bedford led the defense with 21 digs.

The Panthers beat the host Hawks 25-13, 25-17, 25-14. BSC pulled out to quick large leads in the first two sets, with Huntingdon never coming close down the stretch. The third set was much closer, with the teams playing to an 11-11 tie before the Panthers put things away, scoring 11 unanswered points to pull ahead 22-11 before eventually winning on a kill by junior Kelly Foster.

Bothe and freshman Lynsie Byrd led with seven kills each, while Dang and sophomore Katie McCormack had 17 assists apiece. Bothe also led with 11 digs.

BSC hit .446 against Huntingdon and .224 against LaGrange.

"I thought we did a better job of hitting the ball today," Head Coach Judy Green said. "We had more rhythm and we connected better with our setters. Anytime your team hits for an average of .350 in two matches your are doing a good job of taking care of the ball. We finished better today on our first contacts and our transition play was consistent. Everyone got to contribute today and there was a ton of energy surrounding our team. It was a good start for us but we will go back and watch film and get better at the things we did not execute well this week in practice. We will enjoy this weekend for another day and then get back to work.

"There were a lot of positives from this weekend," Green continued. "Our serving continues to keep our opponents out of system and allows us to dig a lot of balls. We talk everyday in practice about scoring points with our serve and we did that all weekend."

The Panthers recorded 51 service aces over the four matches, averaging an impressive 4.25 per set.

"I thought we made adjustments based on each team we played," Green said. "However we still need to improve our blocking set up and timing to match up with the offense we are facing. Our outside hitters collectively hit for a high percentage in both matches, eliminating unforced errors we made from yesterday."

BSC opens its home slate next weekend, hosting the McAttack Bash on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6 and 7, in Bill Battle Coliseum and Bill Burch Gymnasium. The Panthers will face LeTourneau at noon and Victory University at 6 p.m. on Friday, and Huntingdon on Saturday at 1 p.m. followed by bracket play later in the day.