Dates: September 9-10, 2016
Scores: Mississippi College, L: 3-1, (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22), Lyon College, W: 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 27-25), Huntingdon College, W: 3-1 (25-21, 11-25, 25-23, 25-22), Centenary College, W: 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 25-12)
Records: Mississippi College (6-1), Lyon College (6-4), Huntingdon College (3-5), Centenary College (1-8) Williams Baptist College (3-5)
Locations: A.E. Wood Coliseum - Clinton, Miss. & Rugg Arena - Jackson, Miss.
Feels Like the First Time:
The Williams Baptist College volleyball team traveled to central Mississippi for the two-day Belhaven Classic. The Classic was hosted by Mississippi College and Belhaven University. After dropping the first contest to Mississippi College, the Lady Eagles rebounded nicely and won the final three matches, all of which came in four set decisions.
It’s Friday, Friday:
The first day of action saw a doubleheader of games against Mississippi College and Lyon College. WBC faced its toughest test in the first game of the Classic in MC. For the second straight contest, Williams faced an NCAA Division II opponent. After dropping the first two sets of the match, the Lady Eagles fought back to win the third set 25-23. The Choctaws were able to rebound and win the final set 25-22.
Offensively for Williams, Brooke Howell had a team-high 13 kills. Audra Nailling added nine kills and Rachel Pirtle tallied eight kills. Jordan Harvey finished with a game-high in assists with 26 and she also added 13 digs for a double-double performance. Taylor Barton contributed with 13 assists and a team-high three aces.
Defensively, Jessica Baugh led the Lady Eagles in digs with 18. Mallory Wright added 12 of her own and also had two aces serving.
Williams won its first match of the season on Friday afternoon by defeating American Midwest Conference foe Lyon College in four sets. After winning the first set 25-17, Lyon clawed back and fought out a tough 26-24 decision in the second set to tie the match. Williams did not look back and responded with a 25-21 set three decision. The final set was a 27-25 hard fought effort to seal the win. The victory was the first career win for Head Coach Emily Stober.
A trio of Lady Eagles finished with double-digits in kills for the match. Once again, Brooke Howell led the way with 11. Madison Laubach and Audra Nailling provided 10 kills, respectively. Jordan Harvey had a game-high 29 assists. Taylor Barton tallied her jersey number in assists with 14 and tallied a game-high four aces.
Defensively, Baugh provided 24 of the team’s 54 total digs. Shelby Henson added eight digs of her own. At the net, Audra Nailling provided a solo block and two block assists. Shelby Wallace added two block assists.
Williams traveled to Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday for two matches. The Lady Eagles had the early draw in its 9 a.m., contest against Huntingdon University. After claiming the first set 25-21, Huntingdon responded with a 25-11 decision in the second set. The hot blooded WBC team did not stop believing, however, and after two more tough set battles with HC, Williams walked out with its second straight victory.
Shelby Wallace provided the offensive spark with a team-high 11 kills. Rachel Pirtle reached double-figures in kills with 10. Setters Jordan Harvey and Taylor Barton tied for the team-high in assists with 19.
Libero Jessica Baugh racked up a season-high 28 digs in the victory. McKenzie Hopkins was a major factor at the net with her one solo block and three block assists. Rachel Pirtle also added four block assists.
Williams won its third contest of the year by winning the first two sets. After Centenary fought out a 25-23 third set win, WBC put up its most impressive set of the season by working hard and won the fourth set 25-12.
Madison Laubach and Brooke Howell had 13 kills, respectively, to lead the offense. Shelby Wallace added 11 kills for the second consecutive match. Jordan Harvey provided 28 assists, while Taylor Barton added 14.
A trifecta of Lady Eagles tallied double-figures in digs in the match. Jessica Baugh led the way with 21. Mallory Wright added 15 and Taylor Barton pitched in with 10 to complete her double-double performance.
The Coach’s Take:
“It was great to see our team really fight as a unit this weekend,” said Head Coach Emily Stober. “We are happy with the efforts and results, but Coach Shelby Upshaw and I are not convinced you have seen the best of your Lady Eagles just yet. We have a long road ahead. I can’t wait to see what this unit can accomplish.”
Taking the Long Way Home:
Williams will return home for its first game of the season against American Midwest Conference foe Stephens College on Saturday, September 17. The game has also been selected as the American Midwest Conference Game of the Week. In addition to Saturday’s contest being the first home match of the season, it is also the first AMC conference game for the Lady Eagles.
The match is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start in the Southerland-Mabee Center. Be sure to follow www.wbceagles.com for live streaming of the event!