Mountaineers’ win streak ends, split with Old Dominion

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Hiatt Ellis

Senior setter Sam Bickley prepares to serve in App State’s 3-2 victory over Furman Sept. 9, 2022.

Ethan Smith, Reporter

App State volleyball traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, for a weekend series against Old Dominion Friday and Saturday. The Monarchs won the first match, and the Black and Gold bounced back in the second contest.

Old Dominion opened the first set of the opening match with a 5-3 lead after going on a 4-0 run. After a series of runs from both teams, the Monarchs led 14-10 before scoring seven consecutive points. Old Dominion took the first set 25-10.

In the second set, App State took a 6-3 lead after a pair of errors from Old Dominion and a kill from senior middle blocker Sarah Missroon. The Mountaineers took a 12-10 lead, the teams traded points and the set was 24-24 after the Monarchs tied the set. Missroon and sophomore outside hitter Lulu Ambrose both recorded kills before Old Dominion closed out the set 29-27.

The final set saw the Mountaineers trailing after tying the match up at 4-4. Despite a pair of 3-0 runs from App State, the Monarchs expanded the lead 24-16. The Black and Gold rallied off eight consecutive points after kills from senior outside hitter McCall Denny, freshman middle blocker Maya Winterhoff and a pair of ODU errors. However, the Monarchs closed out the final set and App State’s six-game win streak was snapped.

Denny led with a team-high 12 kills and tied with Missroon and junior right side Meghan Dombrowski for two blocks. As a team, the Mountaineers committed 18 errors and posted 26 assists along with six aces. ODU tallied 45 kills and 44 assists. 

In the first set of the second match, the Mountaineers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead. ODU responded after some back-and-forth and a 5-0 run to make it 16-15. App State closed out the set with a pair of Monarch errors and an ace from freshman Kenady Roper to win 25-21.

The Black and Gold opened the second set 8-2, including a 7-0 run with kills from multiple players. ODU struggled to come back with App State holding a large lead for most of the set. The Mountaineers closed out the set 25-14 with a kill from Ambrose. 

The Monarchs took an early 10-7 lead in the start of the third set. After the Mountaineers tied the set at 10-10, ODU kept scoring, taking a 24-19 advantage. After a 4-0 run by App State, Old Dominion closed out the set 25-23.

In the final set, the Mountaineers went on a 4-0 and 5-0 run to make it 11-5 early in the set. The Monarchs failed to get back into the match, with App State closing out the set 25-13 and 3-1 for the match.

Ambrose finished with a team-leading 13 kills and senior setter Sam Bickley along with junior setter Sophie Cain combined for 46 of App State’s 57 assists. The Mountaineers posted 12 aces, limited ODU to only 38 kills and outscored the Monarchs in nearly every statistical category.

The Black and Gold improve to 14-9 and 7-5 in conference play on the season.

“I’m really proud of the response we had today and the adjustments we were able to make,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble.

The Mountaineers return to Boone to take on Georgia Southern Friday and Saturday.The matches can be streamed on ESPN+.