Centre Volleyball Splits Opening Games at Washington & Lee Classic

Centre Volleyball Splits Opening Games at Washington & Lee Classic

LEXINGTON, Va. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre volleyball team began the Washington & Lee Classic on Friday afternoon, playing the first two games of the four-game tournament. The Colonels defeated the Knights of Southern Virginia University in five sets in the opening contest before falling to the host Washington & Lee Generals in four sets in the second game.

As the Colonels started their tournament play against Southern Virginia, neither team led by more than three points in the opening set. The Colonels fought off a pair of match points with senior Shelby Foote (Prospect, Ky.) giving Centre a 27-26 lead and the Colonels taking the following point and the set, 28-26, after a Knights error. Southern Virginia used a run of seven straight points late in the second set to take a 23-18 lead. Having used both of their timeouts in the set during the run, the Colonels were unable to rally and the Knights tied the match with a 25-21 win.

Centre scored the first four points of the third set and never looked back, leading comfortably the entire set and winning 25-16 after Shelby Foote put home the final point. In the fourth set SVU took advantage of Centre errors to build a big lead, but the Colonels came back with a 14-3 run to take an 18-14 lead. The Knights would make another run to take the lead at 24-21 and while the Colonels fought off a pair of set points, they could not score on the third and SVU won by a score of 25-23.

The fifth set was as evenly matched as the first four were, with both teams trading the lead back and forth. In total, five different match points were staved off in the set, with the Colonels fighting off three of them, including two straight clutch kills by freshman Peyton Vacala (Savannah, Ga). Trailing 18-19, Centre took the lead on a pair of SVU errors before junior Hailey Foote (Prospect, Ky.) capped a career game with her 21st kill to win the set 21-19 and win the match for the Colonels.

Hailey Foote set a new career high with a team high 21 kills in the match, while Peyton Vacala added 13 kills and Shelby Foote recorded 11. Shelby Foote also set a career high, finishing with 40 of the team's 59 assists, with senior Katherine Hagan (Whitesburg, Ky.) adding 16. Junior Morgan Babey (LaGrange, Ky.) led Centre with 13 kills, while Vacala and Shelby Foote recorded double digit digs.

The Colonels had to turn around and face a well-rested Washington & Lee team after their win over Southern Virginia, losing the opening two sets. W&L built a small lead in the opening set and the Colonels could never quite get over the hump, coming closest to tying the score at 20-19 before the Generals scored five of the next six points to win 25-20. The Generals took advantage of errors to score the first seven points of the second set and carried the momentum through the rest of the set, winning by a score of 25-14.

In the third set, Centre got a second wind and built an early lead. The Colonels withstood every Generals rally and thanks to three straight aces by Morgan Babey, cruised to the 25-17 win to extend the match. Unfortunately for Centre, the momentum quickly went back to the Generals in the fourth set, as they gradually built a lead and won the match with a 25-13 win.

Hailey Foote once again led Centre in kills with ten against Washington & Lee. Shelby Foote finished with 17 assists to lead the team while Katherine Hagan added seven. Morgan Babey paced the Colonels in digs with 15 while Shelby Foote and Peyton Vacala each had 11 digs.

The Colonels will wrap up play in the Washington & Lee Classic on Saturday as they will face both St. Mary's (Md.) and Randolph-Macon.