Carrollton, GA - Despite winning the opening set, Valdosta State eventually fell in five (20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 17-15) to West Georgia Tuesday night. The loss drops VSU to 13-12 overall and 3-5 in conference play.
The Blazers came out strong in the first set with a 25-20 win. Valdosta State actually held an eight-point lead twice in the set, at 12-4 and 16-8. Unfortunately, VSU could not keep momentum and dropped the next two sets to fall into a 2-1 hole. After winning the fourth set, 25-21, the Blazers could not close out in the fifth.
Valdosta State gained an early 6-3 lead in the final set, but West Georgia fought back. Eventually, though, the Blazers held a 13-11 lead. At that point, VSU stalled. The Wolves scored three straight points to gain a 14-13 lead. After the Blazers passed up West Georgia to regain the lead, 15-14, Valdosta State stalled again. A kill from West Georgia’s Mandy Black and two VSU errors ended the match.
Tania Tauiliili stepped up to lead Valdosta State from the middle with 18 kills and a .324 attacking percentage. She notched three service aces, along with Katie Onushko and two block assists.
Helping out offensively was Onushko and Chelsea Logan. They both tallied 10 kills while Onushko added 12 digs and four block assists. The big blocker, however, was Destiny Berry. She finished with six block assists and two solos.
Valdosta State played strong on the back side of the defense with 90 digs. Krista Bradford had 25 of the digs while Chelsea Luttfring and Ashley Lala registered 16 and 15 digs respectively. Macy Markham added 10 digs to make it five Blazers with double-digit digs. Lala added 47 assists.
The Blazers outblocked West Georgia, 10-6, but the Wolves put together a strong offense led by Emily Reul. She finished with 27 kills while three other Wolves tallied nine each. Amanda Miller gave out 54 assists and Taylor Snipes had 24 digs. Two others were in double digits.
Valdosta State will look to rebound with a big weekend home stand. Friday, VSU will host Alabama-Huntsville at 7 p.m. for Parents’ Night and then West Alabama at 2 p.m. Saturday for Senior Day.