ROANOKE, Va. - The Bridgewater College Volleyball team swept the final day of the Roanoke College Maroon Classic on September 8, 2018. The Eagles beat in Averett in five sets before knocking off Methodist in straight sets.
Match One: Bridgewater 3, Averett 2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-14, 26-24, 15-7)
The Cougars took the first set in what would be a battle to finish in the Eagles opening match. Bridgewater held off two sets points thanks to swings from Allison Clark and a libero kill by Taylor McNeely, but Averett secured the set on a kill of their own.
Bridgewater found its stride in sets two and three, easily taking care of the Cougars. The team hit a tremendous .419 in the second and .484 in third, but the Eagles serving stole the show behind a seven-point run from Clark and an 11-point run by Rachel Gaston.
The Eagles came out strong again in the fourth, but the Cougars would not go down without a fight. Averett was up 24-17 when the Eagles held off seven straight set points to tie the game at 24-24, but it would not be enough as Averett would push a fifth and final set. This marked Bridgewater's third five-setter of the season.
The fifth set began with teams trading points back-and-forth until the Eagles broke away behind strong serving from Jyailah Friendly to gain an 11-6 lead. Four Eagles earned kills to account for the final four points of the game to give the Eagles the match.
Gaston and Deja Booker led the team with 12 kills each. Gaston turned in yet another double-double adding 20 digs in the match. McNeely continued to lead the back row with 15 digs and Victoria Wilson paced the offense with 38 assists. Madison Haynes and Lindsey Olzawski teamed up for a combined six blocks.
Match Two: Bridgewater 3, Methodist 0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-21)
The Eagles displayed a solid team effort and balanced attack in their second match of day to defeat Methodist. Bridgewater jumped out to early lead in the first set and was able to keep control to a 25-19 win. They carried that momentum into the second, racking up 16 kills compared to the Monarch's six.
The third set was much tighter. After a series of attack errors, the score was tied 17-17. Behind three kills from sophomore Jessica Bissmeyer, Bridgewater was able to pull away and take the match. This is the second sweep of the season for the Eagles who finish the Roanoke Maroon Classic 3-1 with an overall record of 6-2.
Gaston and Clark led the Eagles with eight kills each while Haynes chipped in seven. Wilson assisted on 36 balls, pushing her career total over 1,300. The backline was well protected as Gaston, McNeely, and Wilson all recorded double digit digs.
Bridgewater returns to the friendly confines of Nininger Hall for their conference opener against Roanoke on Wednesday, September 12. Match time is set for 7 p.m.