MARYVILLE, Tenn. – The Southwestern volleyball team knew they were going to face some tough competition at their tournament in Maryville over the weekend and rose to the challenge as they emerged 3-1 from the trip. Their lone loss was in five games to #3 Emory. The Pirates are now 5-1 on the year.
SU was thrown into the thick of things as they first faced the #3-ranked Emory team. The Pirates took game one, 26-24 but faltered in the second game as they fell 9-25 with a .000 kill percentage as a team. After regrouping Southwestern rallied to a 25-20 game three win with a .357 kill percentage, but fell back into troubled attacks in game four, falling 13-25. Emory edged out SU in the fifth and final game 9-15.
Sophomore Rachel Thibodeau had a big game for the Pirates, recording 14 kills and just four errors on 36 attempts for a .278 kill percentage. She also led the team in digs with 16.
Maryville was next up for SU, the same Maryville team the Pirates faced in the NCAA tournament last season. Southwestern was edged out in the first game, falling 24-26 but rallied for the final three games. They easily won games two and three 25-15 and held off the fighting Scots in the fourth game and won that one as well, 26-24.
Day two the Pirates dominated as they didn't lose a game the entire day as they faced Lynchburg and Mount St. Joseph. SU won 25-22, 25-19 and 25-23 against LU and 25-23, 25-20 and 25-14 against Mount St. Joseph.
Southwestern used a balanced offensive attack through the matches as four Pirates had 25 or more kills. Lindsay Thompson led the way with 33 followed by Lauren Brown (30), Jill Wigington (28) and Thibodeau (27). Christina Nicholls (pictured) recorded nine service aces on the weekend while Annie Hutson and Thibodeau were one-two in digs at 44 and 43 respectively. Thompson was also the blocking leader recording 13 total, five solo and eight assisted, during the contests.
The Pirates head to Trinity this weekend where they continue to face nationally-ranked opponents. Friday night they take on East Texas Baptist and Pacific before facing pre-season ranked #25 Puget Sound and #15 Christopher Newport on Saturday.