VALDOSTA, Ga. – Despite outblocking North Alabama, Valdosta State could not snag a Gulf South Conference victory Saturday. The Blazers fell in four to UNA, 25-13, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20, to drop to 20-9 on the season and finish 7-3 in the GSC.
Valdosta State started slow in the first set, but rebounded to win the second set. The Blazers threw down four blocks and 13 kills to claim a 25-19 win in the second set.
In the third frame, both teams battled back and forth until North Alabama gained the advantage late, and the fourth set was played in the same manner.
Still, VSU showed positives, starting with 11 blocks. After tallying 19 blocks against Alabama-Huntsville, the Blazers put up 11 against North Alabama, both totals beating the team’s average of seven per match. At one point, VSU held a 10-3 advantage at the net. North Alabama caught up to finish with 10 blocks though.
Chelsea Luttfring backed up the blockers with 23 digs on the day. Irene Hannan chipped in 18 while Ruthie King had 14 digs.
King led the team in kills with 10 while Hannan totaled nine. Katie Onushko threw down eight kills. Hope Ripsam led the team in assists with 21, and Emelia Saulter gave out 16 assists.
For North Alabama, Natalie Marsh led the way with 15 kills. Hope Rayburn gave 43 assists and notched 17 digs to lead the Lions in both categories.
Before heading to the Gulf South Conference Tournament, Valdosta State will play two tune-up matches with regional implications. First, VSU faces Saint Leo in Pensacola, Fla. at 8 p.m. Friday. Finally, the Blazers will host Fort Valley State at 6 p.m. November 8 for the final match before the GSC Tournament.