Wolves Nip Blazers, 3-2

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CARROLLTON, Ga. – Valdosta State had a rocky start against West Georgia Saturday, falling in the first two sets, but rebounded to win the next two in convincing fashion. However, the Wolves outlasted the Blazers in a 19-17 fifth set to win, 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 16-25, 19-17), and improve to 10-9 overall and 5-5 in the GSC. Valdosta State dropped to 12-7 and 5-5.

A bright spot for Valdosta State was senior outside hitter Katie Onushko, standing out for the second consecutive match. She hit for 25 kills on a .375 attacking percentage and added 18 digs and five blocks.

In the middle, Onushko’s senior counterpart, Tania Tauiliili also put together a strong performance. She hit for 19 kills on an outstanding .436 attacking percentage while tallying six blocks along with Destiny Berry.

Also showing out for VSU was sophomore setter Ashley Lala. She gave out 61 assists with 16 digs. Freshman Nikki McDaniel added 14 kills and a team high 23 digs to make it three double-doubles for the Blazers.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as West Georgia’s Emily Reul and Amanda Miles hit for 20 and 19 kills respectively. Lesley Bemis and Helen Menchinger combined for 21 kills. Setter Amanda Miller gave out 59 assists with 10 digs while libero Melissa Holt tallied a match high 30 digs.

West Georgia drew first blood with a 25-23 win in the first set by hitting for 19 kills on a .350 team attacking percentage, a team match high for UWG. The Wolves rolled with the momentum to a 25-22 win in the second set, but the Blazers bounced back in the fourth.

Valdosta State hit .372 in the third set with a match high 20 kills to win 25-18. The Blazers put on an even more dominating performance in the fourth set with 16 kills on a .414 attacking percentage to win 25-16.

The Blazers, however, could not keep it up as the percentage plummeted to .207 with 10 kills and four errors in the fifth set. West Georgia hit 12 kills with five errors to win the final set in extra points, 19-17.

Valdosta State will complete the three-match road trip with a 3 p.m. match against Shorter Sunday.

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