Lions win 24-18, 25-16 and 25-15
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – With preseason behind them, the Bryan College volleyball team was in full force Friday afternoon when they started their regular-season play with a clean sweep of Southern States Athletic Conference opponent Brewton-Parker College (Ga.) 25-18, 25-16, and 25-15. The two sides, which have only met up twice dating back to September of 2005, are competing in the Faulkner Invitational, which is a 10-team event running August 24 & 25.
While the match against the Barons marked the first action of 2018 for the Lions, Brewton-Parker entered the day with one match already played, coming against fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference school Truett McConnell University (Ga.) on August 18. Just as Bryan dominated Brewton-Parker, so did their AAC counterpart who toppled the Barons in three straight sets. After the showdown with Bryan, the Barons fell to 0-2 and the Lions improved to 1-0.
Despite Bryan falling behind 0-4 as the opening set got underway, the hitting started to heat up for the Lions as they went on the attack. In the first frame, Bryan walloped a .219 attack percentage, reaching 11 kills. They continued with a .188 in the second before capitalizing in the final set with an impressive .387, averaging a .263 in the outing compared to Brewton-Parker’s .000. The Baron’s 26 kills were offset by their 26 attack errors.
An outstanding sign for the Lions was that two of their top three attackers in the match were freshmen, as Paige Randolph tallied 10 of the team’s 33 total kills, along with a personal .273 attack percentage. Rebecca Camacho put up remarkable numbers, registering eight kills on 15 attempts for a .533. Trailing was senior leader Mariah Dunlop who posted 8-of-24 for a .208. Others to make the kill’s list were Anna Owens with four and a .267 and Jessi Towe with three and a .300. The Lions had a duo reach the double-digit mark in assists with Sidney Pierce notching a team-high 11 kills while Jennifer Keck followed with 10. Freshman Macenzie Krause made her presence known on the squad as she chipped in three assists to go along with her team-leading 12 digs. Pierce and Britton White matched each other with five digs apiece, while Dunlop and Keck tied at four digs, respectively. The defensive battle was also won by Bryan above the net as the Lions collected five total blocks compared to Brewton-Parker’s two.
Once the Lions had a slow start in the first set, the squad responded with an 8-3 run to take over the lead 8-7. The set stayed in the hands of Bryan with a small margin of difference until the Barons managed to even the count 14-14. The Lions noticed the effort by the Barons and ended the momentum before they could deal any damage. Instead, Bryan rallied for seven straight points to claim a 21-15 advantage. A kill and ace by Dunlop gave the Lions back-to-back points before a put-away by Camacho and service error by Brewton-Parker gave the Lions a 25-18 first set victory.
In the second set, Bryan was the first to get on the board with a kill by Owens. It was a tug of war for the lead until two errors by the Barons gave way to the Lions following up with five unanswered scores, putting Bryan ahead 10-4. The closest Brewton-Parker would come to Bryan was at 14-10, but the Lions ended all hope with a surge that propelled them to a 21-11 edge. The Barons slimmed the gap late, but the early control by the Lions proved too much as Bryan took a 2-0 lead with a 25-16 second set.
The Barons showed they had some life left as they hung close, trailing the Lions 16-14 in the latter part of the final frame. Unfortunately for Brewton-Parker, Bryan surrendered only one more point to the Barons as the Lions sealed the sweep 25-15.
Bryan was scheduled to take on William Carey University (Miss.) at 6pm today, but the two teams were off to a late start, and stats have not been provided at this time.
Keep up with the Faulkner Invitational on their tournament page.
Only live video of court number one is available during the event. To view the live stream, visit Faulkner’s YouTube channel.
On Saturday, Bryan will take the court at 12pm against a challenging University of Mobile (Ala.) team that is currently receiving votes in the latest NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 poll. The Lions will close their time at the tournament with a match against the host school Faulkner at 2pm.
For a complete look at the 2018 Bryan Volleyball schedule, click here.