NCAA Volleyball: Wingate Eliminates Montevallo 3-1
WINGATE, N.C. – The fifth-seeded University of Montevallo volleyball team (24-13) fell to #25 Wingate University (30-1), 3-1 in the Semifinals of the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament. The Falcons battled the entire match as each set was decided by four points or less. UM dropped the first set 25-22 and then won the second set 25-22. In the third set the Bulldogs pulled away late winning 25-23 and the fourth and final set was 25-21. UM was led by its two seniors who recorded double-doubles in their final appearance with the Falcons. Rebecca Dowd (Dothan, Ala./Providence Christian School) had 12 kills and 22 digs while Kara Zawisza (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) had 13 kills and 14 digs.
Sophomore Virginia Clay (Fort Collins, Colo./Poudre) led the team with 15 kills and a .419 hitting percentage. She also led the team with five blocks. Freshman Manyi Ati (Lawrenceville, Ga./Grayson) had 13 kills and two blocks.
Junior setter Anna Garrison (LaVergne, Tenn./LaVergne) recorded her 23rd double-double of the season with 57 assists and 18 digs. Junior libero Rachel Wotitzky (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte) led the team in digs with 26.
The Falcons and Bulldogs traded points in the early going of the first set. Wingate held a slight lead most of the set but at the 15-15 mark the Falcons rattled off two straight points coming off a pair of Clay kills to take a 17-15. WU then scored five of the next six points to take a 20-18 lead. The Falcons were able to cut that lead to just one on two different occasions but Wingate went on to win 25-22.
The second set began much like the first and at the 10-10 mark the Bulldogs scored five of the next six points and took a 15-11 lead. Down 18-14 the Falcons scored five of the next six points to tie the set at 19. The two teams traded a few points and then with the set tied 22-22 UM scored the final three points of the set powered by a kill from freshman Michelle Carle (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements) and a pair of blocks from Clay and Dowd.
The third set was a bit different as the Falcons took the early lead. UM was up 8-4 early in the set but Wingate was able to battle back and tie the set at 11. They then went and took a 16-12 and held onto that lead the rest of the set winning 25-23.
UM jumped out early in the fourth set as well taking an early 4-2 lead. Wingate evenatually took the lead at the 10-9 mark but did not hold it for long as a kill by Chapman gave UM a 12-11 lead. UM's final lead came at the 18-17 mark as Chapman once again provided the kill. Wingate made the score 23-18 and the Falcons began a late surge to try and hold off elimination. UM scored the next three points to cut the lead to 23-21 but Wingate scored the final two points to take a 25-21 win and the 3-1 match victory.