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Mountaineers cap off senior day with wins over ULM

Sophomore+middle+blocker+Maya+Winterhoff+goes+up+for+a+serve+against+the+Warhawks+Oct.+13.
Courtesy of Jayden Discalo, App State Athletics
Sophomore middle blocker Maya Winterhoff goes up for a serve against the Warhawks Oct. 13.

The Mountaineers hosted ULM Friday and Saturday for a weekend series, winning both matches 3-0 and 3-2.

In the Black and Gold’s first match against the Warhawks, they opened the set with a 4-2 lead after sophomore middle blocker Maya Winterhoff’s back-to-back kills as well as an ace from senior setter Sophie Cain. As ULM gained traction on the Mountaineers 12-11 lead, App State responded with a 8-0 run. A kill from junior outside hitter Lulu Ambrose ended the set at 25-20 in favor of App State.

The second set saw the Mountaineers start with a 6-0 run featuring kills from three different App State players. A few more 3-0 runs from the Black and Gold as they took a 15-4 lead over the Warhawks. Back-to-back kills from Ambrose clinched the set for App State at 25-14. 

ULM found their rhythm to start the third set, going up 6-3 early after scoring the opening point. The Mountaineers responded to tie the set at 7-7 and 13-13. Both teams battled back and forth as the Warhawks reached set point at 24-21. Kills from Ambrose and middle blocker Lauren Pledger helped tie the set at 24. App State took the set and match 28-26 after COVID senior McCall Denny and Winterhoff both registered kills. 

The win marked the second consecutive sweep for the Mountaineers and their eighth of the season.

The Warhawks opened the initial set 5-0 and kept applying the pressure on the Mountaineers. After tying the match at 9-9, ULM kept advancing and won the set 25-20 after holding a steady lead throughout.

In the second set, the Warhawks got out to an early 10-6 lead. With a pair of kills from Ambrose and a 5-0 run, the Mountaineers jumped ahead 14-11. The Black and Gold extended the lead 20-16 after another Ambrose kill. ULM answered the deficit and took a 23-22 lead before App State responded after a Warhawk error. ULM took the set 26-24.

The Mountaineers entered the third set with their backs to the wall being down two sets. ULM took a 10-5 lead after both teams went point for point. Kills from Denny and junior middle blocker Lauren Pledger helped the Black and Gold take a 13-12 lead. The Mountaineers kept extending the lead and closed out the set 25-21. 

App State took a 10-9 lead after both teams went back and forth before tying at 15. A 6-0 run helped break the tie and propel the Mountaineers to a 21-15 lead. After a pair of blocks, Pledger sealed the set with a kill for the Black and Gold, 25-18.

With both teams entering the final set tied, each team battled in order to go home victorious. The Mountaineers opened the set scoring the first two points. After App State took a 11-9 lead, kills from Denny and Winterhoff set up match point. The Warhawks managed to record one final block on the day before Pledger sealed the match 15-11.

“I’m so proud of the grit of this team,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We responded after being down 0-2 and found a way to win. It was a great weekend.”

After the match five seniors were honored with their jerseys framed as a part of senior day festivities. Denny, Cain, defensive specialist Alec Quinn, right side Meghan Dombrowski and right side Madison Baldridge all received framed jerseys.

After the weekend series, the Mountaineers improved to 12-7 on the season and 3-5 in conference play.

App State returns to action Oct. 20-21 for an away series against Marshall. The matches begin at 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively and both can be streamed on ESPN+

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About the Contributor
Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
Ethan Smith (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
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