Mountaineer volleyball closes regular season with two wins


Taylor Ward

Senior outside hitter McCall Denny spikes the ball against Coastal Carolina Sept. 29, 2022.

Ben Gosey, Reporter

App State volleyball closed the regular season beating Louisiana in two-straight matches over the weekend. The Mountaineers have won 11 of their last 12, the best stretch of wins by App State since the 2015 season, where the Mountaineers won 16 straight matches. 

App State opened play Friday sweeping Louisiana 3-0. Early in the first set, the Mountaineers and Cajuns went back and forth, with neither team being able to break away. The Black and Gold used two three-point runs to breakaway to a 12-7 lead. The Cajuns rallied back in the set tying it 20-20. The Mountaineers ended the rally, closing the set out 25-23. 

The Black and Gold’s momentum carried over into the second set where the Mountaineers led 9-2 early after an impressive seven-point run. App State extended its lead to as high 23-15 before the Cajuns fought back, closing the gap with a 4-0 run. App State closed the set 25-20 shortly after. 

The Mountaineers kept the pressure on for the third set, jumping out to an early 5-1 lead.  After a three-point run, App State was up 12-7 before the Cajuns responded with their own 7-0 run to take the lead 14-12. The Cajuns and Mountaineers battled back and forth with the Mountaineers tying the match at 21. The match went into extra time, with App State using a block from both senior middle blocker Sarah Missroon and junior right side Meghan Dombrowski. 

Senior outside hitter McCall Denny and sophomore Lulu Ambrose tied for the most kills, each posting 12. Senior setter Sam Bickley led the team in assisting, dishing out 23, with junior setter Sophie Cain pacing behind with 16. 

The Mountaineers were all involved defensively, with Denny posting a team-high nine digs, while middle blockers Missroon and freshman Maya Winterhoff led the team in blocks, stuffing the front of the net with seven blocks on the night. 

The Mountaineers continued Saturday, winning the match 3-1, ending the regular season with a win. 

Before the match, the Mountaineers recognized their seniors Bickley, Missroon and student assistant coach Morgan Flores. 

App State faced an early deficit in the first set with the Cajuns jumping out to an early 8-6 lead. The Mountaineers responded quickly with a 4-0 run to take the lead 10-8. After tying the match at 13, the teams battled back and forth with the Cajuns grabbing a late 21-18 lead. App State came back, tying the set at 24 before dropping the set 26-24.

The Mountaineers came into the second set sluggish, giving up an early lead, before tying the match 9-9. The Cajuns regained the lead at 14-12, with the Mountaineers responding with a 5-0 run, taking control of the set 17-14. App State never looked back from there, extending its lead before closing the set out 25-17. 

The black and gold and Cajans continued to the third set being tied 8-8 early. The Cajans gained the lead 13-9 before the Mountaineers battled back with a 5-0 run to regain the lead. The Cajans regained the lead 18-15 before committing multiple errors to give the Mountaineers a 21-18 lead. The Cajans would reclaim the lead once more  before a 4-0 run by App State to close the set out 25-21. 

App State and Louisiana traded leads throughout the fourth set until the Black and Gold managed to break a 17-17 tie, gaining a 19-17 lead after a Cajun error and a block from Ambrose and Winterhoff. The Mountaineers controlled the match from there, with Denny spiking down the final kill to take a 25-20 win. 

Denny posted her 11th double-double of the season, leading the Mountaineers with 15 kills and 12 digs. Bickley led the team with 23 assists, while posting eight digs in the match. Winterhoff led the team with six blocks. 

The Mountaineers now shift their focus to the Sun Belt Tournament, going in ranked fourth in the tournament. Opening play Thursday, the Mountaineers will once again square off against Louisiana to kick off tournament play. The match is set to start at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Mobile, Alabama.