App State Volleyball wins two matches in Appalachian Invitational

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Courtesy of App State Athletics

Senior Grace Kinsch celebrates with her teammate, grad student Emma Reilly, who has the fifth most digs in program history.

Ethan Smith

App State Volleyball opened the season Sept. 3-4 by competing in the Appalachian Invitational. Over two days, the Mountaineers competed in three matches against Eastern Kentucky, Radford and UNC Greensboro. 

In their first match against Eastern Kentucky, the Mountaineers led after two sets. Eastern Kentucky bounced back and won the next two sets. In the final set, App State responded, winning 15-11 for the match.

“To pull out that win after losing the third and fourth set being up 2-0 was huge because we had to earn it,” head coach Matt Ginipro said. “EKU was not giving us a lot of points, and we had to earn every single one of them. That fifth set effort and the fight was fantastic.”

The Mountaineers recorded three individual double-digit kill performances against EKU by McCall Denny with 12, Lily Harvey with 10 and Victoria Wilform with 11.

In the second match, App State defeated Radford and improved to a 2-0 record. Denny recorded a career-high 28 kills, and Emma Reilly added 24 digs to the contest. The Mountaineers won the first two sets against Radford 25-22 and 25-23. The Highlanders responded by winning the third and fourth sets. App State won the final set 15-4.

The Mountaineers concluded the Appalachian Invitational by facing off against UNC Greensboro. The Spartans bested the Mountaineers in three consecutive sets to win the match. Lulu Ambrose finished with six kills and Reilly posted 12 digs.

“I told them it’s the first weekend of a full schedule that we haven’t had since 2019, so don’t put so much emphasis on this one loss,” Ginirpo said.