App State volleyball takes Appalachian Invitational by storm


Outside hitter Jaqui Spurgeon bump passes the ball during Saturday’s volleyball game against Tennessee Tech for the Appalachian Invitational at the George M. Holmes Convocation Center. Photo by Cory Spiers | The Appalachian

Ben Cogsdale

App State volleyball opened the 2014 season off in impressive fashion going undefeated in the Appalachian Invitational while not losing any sets in any of the three weekend matches.

On Saturday, the Mountaineers defeated Tennessee Tech and the Tennessee after a three set victory Friday night over Cleveland State, App State finished the tournament off perfectly sweeping all three opponents in three sets each.

“Once the mentality of the team catches up with the level of volleyball were going to be really good,” head coach Matt Ginipro said.

The Mountaineers began their dominant day at 12:30 taking on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. A sluggish start from App State allowed the Golden Eagles to stick around but the hitting power of senior outside hitters Lauren Gray and Jacqui Spurgeon powered the Mountaineers to a 25-18 set one victory.

The next two sets were similar as App State opened up a lead, the Golden Eagles made it close and the Mountaineers pulled  away for the victory. App State took the final two sets 25-14 and 25-17.

“It feels really good to get that under our belt and start the season out on such a good note,” Gray said.

Junior outside hitter Emily Corrigan recorded 13 kills against Tennessee Tech, leading the team for the second straight game after doing so against Cleveland State.

Gray and Spurgeon added 9 and 8 kills respectively, while junior setter Paige Brown tallied a match-high 37 assists.

The App State volleyball team faced Tennessee in the second match of the day.

What seemed to be the theme of the tournament took shape once again in the second match as both teams started off trading points back and forth. The Mountaineers pulled away again mid-way through the first set recording the final point on a Tennessee service error to take the set 25-15.

In the second set, App State jumped out to and early lead before the Lady Vols closed the gap to 16-14. The mountaineers took control however, finishing the set off with a 25-21 victory.

The Mountaineers controlled the third set from the start and picked up the 25-14 win.

Emily Corrigan led the team again with 16 kills for the match.

“It’s about getting kills and scoring points,” Corrigan said. “I know I’m the rock hitter of this team and I’ll own that role and step up to it.”

Junior outside hitters Paige Brown and Jess Keller were named to the all-tournament team while Corrigan collected MVP honors.

After the final match of the weekend, Mountaineer Head Coach Matt Ginipro said he was very proud of the effort from his team.

“The kids played really, really well and were ahead of where I thought we would be this first weekend,” Ginipro said. “That’s a really good sign for the rest of the season.”

The Mountaineers will return to action Tuesday when they take on the Gardner-Webb on the road. The match will start at 7 p.m.

Story: Ben Cogsdale, Intern Sports Reporter

Photo: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor