Mountaineers conclude non-conference, open conference play 1-3

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Becca Bridges

App State volleyball celebrates its season-opening victory over Eastern Kentucky. The Mountaineers eliminated the Colonels in five sets and finished the Appalachian Invitational 2-1.

Ben Gosey, Reporter

App State volleyball competed in the Pirate Invitational hosted by East Carolina Sept. 17-18.

The Mountaineers opened up the weekend with a 3-1 match win against the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. Junior outside hitter McCall Denny led the team with 10 kills, with sophomore setter Sophie Cain racking up 20 assists. Defensively, Cain led the team with nine digs.

The Mountaineers win against Gardner Webb was followed with a loss to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, with the Black and Gold dropping three straight sets to lose 3-0. The Mountaineers recorded two double-digit kill performances against the Vaqueros, with Denny leading the team with 13 and senior outside hitter Victoria Wilform right behind with 10. Cain controlled the floor with 26 assists. Defensively, super senior libero Emma Reilly finished the match with 20 digs. 

The Black and Gold concluded the weekend facing off against the Pirates, where they were swept 3-0. Two Mountaineers had double-digit kills, Wilform with 13 and Denny right behind with 12. Cain accompanied them with 28 assists also posting her first double-double of the season, adding 10 digs to her performance. 

Emma Reilly finished the match with 18 digs, setting the program record of 1873, passing Courtney Rhein, who held the record with 1,870. Rhein played for the Mountaineers from 2009 to 2012. Reilly is the fourth player in school history to post 1,800 or more digs in their career. 

The Mountaineers followed their 1-2 performance in the Pirate Invitational with back-to-back losses to Arkansas State and Little Rock to open conference play 0-2. App State got back on track with a five-set victory over Georgia State Oct. 1 before falling to Georgia Southern Oct. 3. 

The Mountaineers kick off a four-game homestand with South Alabama Oct. 8.