Mountaineers dominate Appalachian Invitational 3-0

Michael Bragg

The Appalachian State volleyball team dominated last weekend’s Appalachian Invitational at the Holmes Convocation Center, sweeping the tournament 3-0.

The team made quick work of the Loyola Greyhounds in their season-opener.

Appalachian put together a solid offense and worked well together, despite having new faces on the court.

“[Loyola] was easy for us, but it was easy for us because we worked hard,” head coach Matt Ginipro said. “We executed and we were disciplined.”

Energy was high and App State seemed to feed off the crowd, constantly making the Greyhounds hustle. The Mountaineers pulled away slightly during the first two sets, but Loyola found strength toward the end.

Appalachian held a 25-15 victory in the first set, a 25-14 in the second and a 25-20 win in the third set to clinch the match.

Lindsey Sauls led the team with nine kills, with Jess Keller and Emily Corrigan right behind her each with eight.

It looked as if a different team showed up for App State against Sam Houston State Saturday morning, as the team lacked energy and enthusiasm.

“It’s a different momentum we had going into the game so we had to find the energy within ourselves, which wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but we made it happen,” Keller said.

Sam Houston State played with tenacity and didn’t let up on the Mountaineers, many times going point for point during each set.

“Sam Houston [State] today was really scrappy,” Lindsey Sauls said. “We were not hitting the areas of the court that we needed to be, so they had a lot of opportunities to dig us today.”

Appalachian State was able to fight back and keep the upper hand against the Bearkats.

Even though the scores were close (25-23, 25-23 and 25-20), the Mountaineers were able to keep their winning streak alive.

Later that night, App State took on their final opponent of the tournament, Norfolk State, and dominated once again (25-18, 25-11 and 25-14).

NSU put up a fight early, but it appeared that their players got tired and after the first set it was clear that the Mountaineers would take the match.

“A lot of what gets us is our brains, and that’s our biggest hurdle we have to deal with,” Ginipro said. “Just controlling our frustration levels, focusing and executing mentally.”

App State had both Keller and Emily Corrigan make the All-Tournament team while Corrigan was also named Appalachian Invitational Most Valuable Player.

The Mountaineers return to the court Tuesday when they take on Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C. at 7 p.m.

Story: KAITLYN THRUSTON, Senior Sports Reporter