St. Augustine, FL - Southern Wesleyan dropped a pair of matches in their season opening weekend. The Warriors fell 3-0 to the Rollins Tars and then fell to the Newberry Wolves in a 3-0 final.
The Warriors put up 23 kills in the first game loss. Olivia Johnson led the team with seven kills and was followed by Darby Sheets with six and Johanna Philyaw with five, respectively. Hadley Smith led with 12 assists, while Kali Letcher tacked on eight. Southern Wesleyan posted 19 digs with Katlyn Von Ins leading the team with six.
Southern Wesleyan recorded 26 kills in the second game of the season. Olivia Johnson led with nine and was followed by Johanna Philyaw with five. Kali Letcher and Hadley Smith led the Warriors with a combined 17 of the 20 assists. Smith led with nine assists while Letcher had 8. Anna Martin led the team with eight digs and the team posted three blocks.
Final Match One: Rollins 3, Southern Wesleyan 0
Final Match Two: Newberry 3, Southern Wesleyan 0
Records: Southern Wesleyan (0-2) Rollins (2-0) Newberry (1-1)
Coach Reininga Says...
"I'm proud of the team and how they competed today against some tough teams. We will take the lessons from today and keep building to get better each week!"
How It Happened
SWU vs Rollins
The Tars struck first in the Warriors opening contest of the 2019 season. Senior Sarah Stone was able to put the Warriors on the board with a kill off of Freshman Kali Letcher's set. The Warriors rolled with a small run to take a 9-8 lead before the Tars took control with the go-ahead point from an ace. The Warriors remained on the heels of Rollins and tied it back up 17-17 with an ace from Katlyn Von Ins. Despite late kills from Stone and Olivia Johnson, the Tars took set one 25-21.
Rollins answered quick in the second set with a kill from Riley Spurlin. However, back-to-back Tars errors allowed Southern Wesleyan to gain some momentum. While playing catch-up, the Warriors added kills from Johnson, Stone, and Johanna Philyaw to bring the score to 11-6. Anna Martin provided an advantage from the service line, delivering two aces for the Warriors. Philyaw tacked on two more kills to put the Warriors down only 16-9, however, Rollins went on a final run to win set two 25-12.
Darby Sheets spoke first for the Warriors in set three of the match with two kills from the outside. Johnson and Stone added one each to put the Warriors trailing only 9-5. Southern Wesleyan ran with their momentum to conduct a 5-0 run before the Tars could put a stop to it with a kill. The Tars ran with their own momentum to pull ahead 23-14 before Philyaw responded. Rollins would win set three 25-15 to win the match.
SWU vs Newberry
Newberry took an early 4-0 lead before two errors allowed the Warriors on the board. Strong performances from Anna Martin and Johanna Philyaw tied the game at 5-5. The Wolves hit spurts of 3-0 runs to increase their lead over Southern Wesleyan. Kali Letcher aced the Wolves and assisted a Sarah Stone kill before the Wolves took a final run to take the first set 25-15.
The Wolves jumped out again in the second set, going on a 7-0 run. Olivia Johnson provided the first offense point for the Warriors with a kill. Southern Wesleyan was able to decrease the deficit with a small run of their own, but Newberry carried on with a string of five points to take the second set 25-14.
Southern Wesleyan scored first in set three of the match off of a Newberry serving error. The Wolves responded, but the Warriors regained the 5-4 lead after a kill from Johnson. Both teams battle back and forth before the Warriors picked up four points in a row to lead 11-7. Offensive errors dug a hole for the Warriors as the Wolves capitalized on the mistakes. Three Warriors had late kills in the set before the Wolves finalized the game will a kill from Becca Hallingstad. The Wolves won set three 25-21 and won the match.
Southern Wesleyan will continue competing in the Flager Invitational on September 8 as they take on the Flagler Saints at 12 p.m. and the Shorter Hawks at 4:30 p.m. They will then travel to Huntsville, Alabama to compete in the Alabame-Huntsville Invitational on September 13 and 14.