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Volleyball advances to SAA title match with 3-1 win against Millsaps

photo by Jimmy Mitchell
photo by Jimmy Mitchell

CONWAY, Ark.—With its sixth-straight victory, the Birmingham-Southern volleyball team defeated Millsaps, 3-1, Saturday afternoon to advance to the title match of the Southern Athletic Association Volleyball Championship, hosted Hendrix in Conway, Ark.

The third-seeded Panthers will face the top-seeded hosting Warriors at noon tomorrow for the championship. The teams split earlier this season, with BSC winning at home, 3-0, and losing on the road by the same score.

BSC moved to 24-10 with today's win, while second-seeded Millsaps dropped to 22-6.

The first set today was close the whole way, with neither team ever leading by more than three points and the teams playing to 10 ties. With the set tied at 24-24, BSC won by putting away two straight points courtesy of kills from sophomore Lynsie Byrd and senior Kathleen Pfitzer.

Set two started out in similar fashion, with the teams trading leads and points. With Millsaps leading 7-6, BSC used an 11-3 run to pull ahead 17-10 and out-scored the Majors 8-6 after that to clinch the win, 25-16, to pull ahead 2-0 in the match.

Both teams used several small scoring runs in the third set to keep things close on both sides, playing to a 21-21 tie before Millsaps put away four straight points to win 25-21 and cut the match lead to 2-1.

The Panthers came out strong in the fourth set, pulling up 7-2 to start and never trailing, going on to win 25-20 to take the semifinal match and advance to the championship.

Byrd led all players with 21 kills, hitting .339 with only two errors. Byrd, senior Meredith Lee, and junior Katie McCormack all recorded double-doubles as well. Byrd posted 19 digs for her 17th double-double of the year, while Lee had 10 kills and a season-high 26 digs for her seventh double-double, and McCormack recorded a season-high 55 assists and 11 digs for her 14th double-double of 2014. Juniors Lauren Bedford and Emily Dang posted double-digit digs with 22 and 16, respectively, and sophomore Laura Van Peursem led at the net with four blocks.

Sunday's championship match will feature free live video and live stats, available here.