Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State Volleyball prepares for its toughest home weekend of the season as North Alabama and Christian Brothers come to town for games at 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday respectively.
“This is a big weekend for us,” said Head Coach Sia Poyer. “North Alabama is playing well and they are regularly one of the top teams in the Gulf South Conference and the region. Christian Brothers is doing well too. They have a couple of big region victories this season.”
North Alabama is off to a great start with an 11-3 record. The Lions have been nationally ranked as high as 21st and the their only three losses have come at the hands of teams that also spent time in the nation’s top 25. Valdosta State and North Alabama are currently tied for third in the conference, but the Lions have the second highest overall winning percentage in the GSC.
Meanwhile, Christian Brothers is just behind Valdosta State in the conference standings. The Lady Bucs are 12-4 overall with two wins in a row as they head on this weekend’s road trip.
“If we can pull these two wins out, it will put us right at the top of the conference,” Poyer said. “We have to win at home and then go battle on the road.”
The past two season, Valdosta State has split with North Alabama, last season beating the Lions in five in Florence, Ala., but falling in Valdosta in four.
While West Florida may be the toughest opponent VSU faces all season, the combined opponents of North Alabama and Christian Brothers makes this the toughest home weekend VSU Volleyball will have.
Each opponent brings a different set of challenges. North Alabama is first in the GSC in opponents’ hitting percentage and digs while placing second in both assists and kills. Christian Brothers, meanwhile, leads the conference in service aces and is second in hitting percentage and third in opponents’ hitting percentage. Valdosta State leads the league in blocks.
Individually, Valdosta State is doing well. Macy Markham leads the conference in aces per set while Ashley Lala is second in assists per set, just in front of North Alabama’s Caroline Neiser and Kelsey Miles of Christian Brothers. Freshman Destiny Berry is averaging a conference high 1.04 blocks per set.
Be sure to come out an support your Blazers as they take on North Alabama at 7 p.m. Friday night and Christian Brothers at 1 p.m. Saturday.