After a 3-1 win over Little Rock on Friday, the Mountaineers entered Saturday looking to extend their nine game winning streak at home versus UT Arlington. It wouldn’t take long, as App State (14-4, 7-0 Sun Belt) topped the Mavericks (13-7, 4-4 Sun Belt) in one of their quickest matches of the season.
Scoring the first point, App refused to let Arlington gain any momentum, taking a 3-1 lead to 10-4 very quickly. After that, the Mavericks could barely stand on their own, unable to even tie the game.
Taking a timeout, the team tried to regain their composure.
However, outside hitter Emily Corrigan refused to let such a thing happen. With eight kills in the first set, she forced Arlington into using another timeout, which proved to be useless. Going up 21-9, and ending on a point from none other than Corrigan herself, the Mountaineers took the first set 25-12.
The eight kills by Corrigan not only matched the amount of kills for the entire Arlington team, but were also the most by any player for all three sets. Setter Paige Brown also contributed with 16 assists in the first set, the most by any player the entire match.
In the second set of the match, Appalachian once again scored the first point of the set but this time faced a little resilience. Being able to tie the game twice early in the set, Arlington held on tight as App took a 6-3 lead.
However, those two tie scores were also the only tie scores of the entire night. After a nice block up front and a few kills from middle blocker Ashton Gregory, the Mountaineers went up 14-7 and forced an Arlington timeout. Corrigan, who by this point was hitting over 0.600, helped the Mountaineers go up 18-9 and eventually 22-11, forcing the second Arlington timeout of the set. App State got some water, relaxed and quickly finished off the Mavericks 25-13.
The third set was different for the Mountaineers but it was a good different. With Brown leading the way, App took another very quick 11-2 lead. With every Mountaineer on the court contributing in some way, and a lot of Maverick mistakes, App State went up 22-5 in the blink of an eye. Before anyone knew it, Gregory had the final kill and the Mountaineers won the final set 25-8 and extended their win streak to 10 games.
Head coach Matt Ginipro said that the team’s execution in the match was almost flawless.
“Once we shut No. 6, Quiana Canete, and No. 11, Stacey Koch, down, and on top of what we were doing, they didn’t really have a chance,” Ginipro said. “I hate using the word perfect, however, we were relatively perfect tonight on every contact.”
He went on to say that Brown was “simply Paige tonight” and played great.
Brown said the streak has made the Mountaineers a target for many teams.
“I think it was really fun for us to play our full potential tonight,” Brown said. “It makes a huge statement for us but it also puts a huge target on our back.”
Appalachian State looks to extend their streak to 11 at home next Saturday against Georgia State. The match is set for 6:30 p.m.
Story by: Noah Gerringer, Intern Sports Reporter