ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida - The Walsh Cavaliers volleyball team traveled south for the second tournament of the season as they competed in the Flagler Saints Classic on Friday (Sept. 13).
Walsh fell to Embry-Riddle 3-1 (19-25, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25) in the first game of the weekend. Later on, Walsh swept the host Flagler 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-17) in the final game of the day.
Walsh head coach Jayme Plummer spoke about the team's resiliency in the second match of the day, "After a tough match this morning, our team ccame back and responded with an incredible effort against a very strong Flagler team. I love seeing our team show the fight they did today and look forward to continuing that effort tomorrow."
Embry-Riddle (L 3-1)
Walsh led the first set 1-0 before the set was tied three times. After a 5-5 tie, Embry-Riddle went on a 12-3 run as they led 17-8. An 8-2 run by Walsh closed the gap to three. One final 7-2 Embry-Riddle run ended the first set with the Eagles winning 25-19. The second set was back and forth as the Eagles used three straight points for a 7-4 lead. Walsh answered back with an 8-2 run as Walsh grabbed a 12-9 advantage. Five straight Eagles points forced a Walsh timeout, trailing 14-12. Walsh tied the set twice before an attack error gave the Cavaliers a 17-16 lead. Embry-Riddle grew the lead back to as many as two with set point looming. A service error followed by an ace from Alexis Gilland tied the set at 22. The Eagles scored the final three points as they took a 2-0 lead with a 25-22 set two win. Walsh trailed 5-2 early in the third set prior to a 9-3 Cavaliers run. The lead closed to one but Walsh closed out the set with scoring 13 of the final 20 points. Gilland and Amber King combined on the game-winning block as Walsh won 25-18. Lauren Loucks and Hallie Schroeder each had three kills as Walsh began the fourth set with an 11-5 run. Six straight Eagles points tied the set at 11. The set was tied five times as Embry-Riddle led 20-18, as Walsh took a timeout. Loucks pulled the Cavs within one but the Eagles clinched the match with a 25-21 set four score.
Loucks led all players with 19 kills in 42 attempts. Schroeder went for a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Gilland had eight kills and eight digs while Olivia Kearns made 41 assists and ten digs.
Flagler (W 3-0)
Three kills from three different players and a service ace from Natalie Brutscher allowed Walsh to open the match with a 4-1 lead. The Saints clawed the way into five ties as the set was knotted at 14. Flagler took a three point lead with three straight points. Walsh trailed until they scored four straight points, taking a 23-21 lead on a Gilland kill. The Saints pulled within one twice but Loucks iced the set with a kill, as Walsh won 25-23. Flagler stormed out of the break with three straight points until the Cavaliers fought back with eight of the next ten points. Both teams exchanged four point swings with Flagler taking a short lived lead before Walsh resumed on top 12-9. Walsh kept their distance and ended the set with three points on kills by Loucks and Gilland and a block by King. Walsh led 2-0 with a 25-19 victory. Two Gilland kills and two errors gave Walsh a 4-1 lead in the early moments of set three. Flagler tied the set at eight before Walsh answered with a 6-1 run. The Saints could not pull within three points as Walsh cruised to a sweep with a 25-17 final set win.
Loucks led the Cavaliers in game two with 15 kills as she was the only one in double figure kills. Gilland and Schroeder both had eight kills with nine and seven digs, respectively. Kearns made 33 assists and tied Samantha Wentz for the team lead in digs with 13.
Walsh will face West Georgia at 10:00 AM on Saturday (Sept. 14) and Lees-McRae comes up later at 4:30 PM.