MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team defeated Liberty, 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-15), and Georgetown, 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 15-10), in its first two matches of the Gold & Blue Player's Challenge on Friday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (12-1) improved to 6-0 at home this season.
“Georgetown came to play. They’re coached very well. They fought really hard,” says coach Jill Kramer. “We were in a good position to take the match in the third and they never gave up.”
Sophomore setter Brittany Sample
post 42 assists, 25 digs and four kills against the Hoyas, sophomore outside hitter Nikki Attea
had 15 kills and 11 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Hannah Sacket added 16 kills.
West Virginia won the first two sets, and then had to hold off a late comeback from Georgetown (6-6).
Six different Mountaineers recorded at least two digs in the first set, as the home team used a balance attack to claim the set 25-22.
West Virginia would jump out to an early 7-2 lead in the second set, but the Hoyas settled down and came back to tie the set at 20 apiece. Sample dished out 13 assists in the set, though, and Sackett had six kills, as WVU won the set 25-22.
The Hoyas claimed the third and fourth sets behind 12 team blocks. Both sets were back-and-forth, with Georgetown winning the third set 26-24 and the fourth set 25-23.
WVU buckled down in the fifth set, holding the Hoyas to a .042 hitting percentage. Attea added three more kills and the Mountaineers won the set, 15-10, to win the match.
In their first match of the day, the Mountaineers swept Liberty, marking their eight sweep of the season.
“It was great that we showed a performance from our whole team. The girls came together and played really hard,” says coach Jill Kramer. “They made a point that they wanted to come out and compete hard. I was really proud of them.”
Liberty (1-10), the Big South Conference preseason favorites, registered just a .030 team hitting percentage for the match.
“We did a good job of making sure that we gained control and kept our composure,” Kramer says. “I’ve been really focused on taking things one match at a time.”
Freshman outside hitter Jordan Anderson
led all players with 11 kills on 28 attempts for a .214 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Brittany Sample
posted 30 assists, eight digs and three kills.
West Virginia won the first set behind sophomores Caleah Wells
and Brittany Sample
. Wells had six kills on eight attempts, and Sample dished out 15 assists in the 25-18 set win for the Mountaineers.
WVU rattled off six straight points to start the second set and never looked back on its way to a 25-17 set win. Anderson had eight kills in the set to guide the Mountaineers.
West Virginia held the Flames to a .000 team hitting percentage in the third set, and sophomore Hannah Sackett
chipped in five kills, giving the Mountaineers a 25-15 set win.
WVU is back in action Sunday at 1 p.m., against UMBC (7-4) at the WVU Coliseum.