Pensacola, FL - Valdosta State struggled in its first day at the Gulf South Conference/Sunshine State Conference Crossover in Pensacola, Fla., hosted by West Florida. The Blazers fell first to No. 2 Tampa, 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-10), then to Eckerd, 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19). Valdosta State stands at 12-10 on the season.
Valdosta State struggled mightily against Tampa, ranked second nationally, in the team’s opener of the tournament. In three sets, the best attacking percentage VSU put up was .114 in the second. In the first set, the Blazers hit .000 and finished the third set hitting -.162. For the match, VSU hit -.019 while Tampa finished at .280.
Katie Onushko led the team in kills on the day and did so against Tampa with eight. No other Blazer had more than five. Ashley Lala gave out 14 assists with eight digs and four kills. Krista Bradford led the team in digs with 15. Lala and Macy Markham were next in line with eight digs each. The Blazers put up four blocks to Tampa’s 11. Tania Tauiliili had one solo and an assist while Destiny Berry had two solo blocks. Jennifer Beatty had the other block assist.
The Blazers put together a much better performance later in the day against Eckerd. After dropping the first set, VSU was able to take the second set from Eckerd before falling in the third and fourth by identical 25-19 scores.
Chelsea Logan led the team in kills for the match with 11, and Onushko was right behind her with 10. Beatty chipped in eight kills and three others tallied four each.
Lala gave out 29 assists and tallied nine digs. Meanwhile, Bradford did the heavy lifting for Valdosta State on defense with 22 digs. After Lala, two others had eight digs. The Blazers against put down four blocks while Eckerd had seven. Berry had two solo blocks again while Tauiliili also had a solo and an assist. Lala was able to get in on the other block assists.
Valdosta State held Eckerd to an attacking percentage of .218 but finished with just a .100 attacking percentage for the match.
Tomorrow, Valdosta State will look to bounce back against Saint Leo and Lynn at 12 and 4 p.m. respectively.