Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State swept West Georgia, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-17), Tuesday night to move to 8-4 on the season. Katie Onushko and Ashley Lala led Valdosta State to an impressive victory in the team’s Gulf South Conference opener.
Onushko led all players with 14 kills and just three errors for a .333 attacking percentage. Onushko added a team leading five service aces, seven digs, three blocks and two assists to her state line before the match was over.
Setting up Onushko for most of the night was setter Lala. She gave out 33 assists to lead all players but also did work defensively. She finished with a game high 20 digs while adding four kills on a .571 attacking percentage.
Other Blazers that stood out include Tania Tauiliili, Destiny Berry, Krista Bradford and Macy Markham. Tauiliili hit for eight kills and only one error for a .412 attacking percentage. Her counterpart in the middle, Berry, tallied six blocks, two of which were solo, to help VSU outblock West Georgia, 8-3. Bradford was second on the team in digs with 16 while Markham dug up 12.
After trailing, 8-4, in the opening set, Valdosta State mounted a comeback behind Onushko’s service. She served four straight points, including an ace, to gain a 9-8 advantage. Later, tied at 12, Lala took over service and bettered Onushko’s four with six consecutive points, also recording an ace, to help VSU gain an 18-12 lead. Markham, Bradford and Onushko finished serving out the set for a 25-16 victory in the first game.
In the second set, Onushko served eight consecutive points to break Valdosta State from a 10-10 tie to an 18-10 advantage. Onushko notched three service aces during the run. The Wolves could not rebound and fell in the second set, 25-19.
The third set was more of the same for VSU as the Blazers went on to a 25-17 win to clinch the match. West Georgia jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the final set, and eventually led, 8-3, before Valdosta State stormed back. Lala and Bradford served six and four consecutive points respectively to help VSU regain control of the match and secure the win.
The Blazers take to the road for the next two matches against conference foes Alabama-Huntsville and West Alabama at 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday respectively. Valdosta State returns to The Complex to face North Alabama at 7 p.m. Friday, September 30.
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