LaGrange, GA - Southern Wesleyan locked down their first win of the season on Friday evening after defeating the LaGrange Panthers in a 3-0 final.
The Warriors collected 35 kills in the win with Olivia Johnson leading the team with eleven. Darby Sheets followed Johnson with eight kills of her own. Anna Martin contributed 13 digs on the night to lead the team defensively. Hadley Smith had 31 of the 34 assists. Southern Wesleyan also had five service aces and nine blocks.
Final: Southern Wesleyan 3, LaGrange 0
Records: Southern Wesleyan (1-8) LaGrange (2-11)
Coach Reininga Says...
"It was nice to get our first win under our belt. We will continue to work hard as we prepare for conference!"
How It Happened
LaGrange struck first in the match on Friday evening before a kill from Darby Sheets put the Warriors on the board. The Panthers gained the lead momentarily before the Warriors tied it at 7-7 and went on to possess the momentum of the match. The Warriors lead continued to grow with LaGrange errors and kills from Sheets and Amber Bass to put them on top 17-13. The Panthers threatened late in the first set, but a kill from Bass and an ace from Hadley Smith sealed the Warriors 25-23 victory.
The Panthers took a quick 3-0 lead in set two; a serving error granted a point on the board for the Warriors. The score remained tied for over twelve rallies with neither team gaining control of the match. Back-to-back Southern Wesleyan kills forced a LaGrange time-out. The Warriors pulled ahead with kills from Sheets and Johanna Philyaw at 13-9. Again, the Panthers lessened the gap and eventually tied it at 19-19. A SWU time-out lead to three unanswered points for the Warriors. Olivia Johnson closed the set with a kill from the outside to help the Warriors win 25-22.
Again in set three the Panthers took an early lead. Trailing 4-0, Sheets provided a kill for the Warriors first point. The Warriors now had to fight to get the lead. Slowly, they crept in to tie it at 6-6 and again at 8-8. Battling back and forth for possession, the Warriors came out on top with six straight points to lead 14-9. Impressive performances from Sheets and Johnson guided the Warriors to remain up 18-12 forcing a LaGrange time-out. Consistency late in the match allowed Southern Wesleyan to win 25-14.
Southern Wesleyan will conclude at the LaGrange Invitational on September 21 at 9 a.m. against Southern Union and at 11 a.m. against Wallace. The Warriors will then kick off Conference Carolinas play at Barton on September 27 at 7 p.m. followed by an away game at Chowan on September 28 at 2 p.m.