Centre volleyball knocks off Sewanee in five sets

Centre volleyball knocks off Sewanee in five sets

DANVILLE, Ky. – The Centre volleyball team went the distance with the second Southern Athletic Association opponent in a row, this time doing battle with the Sewanee Tigers. Unlike Sunday's outcome against Birmingham Southern, the Colonels came away with a win, snapping a skid of three straight losses in five-set matches.

Centre took the early lead in the first set, going ahead by as many as eight points at 15-7. The Tigers gradually fought their way back, eventually tying the score at 22-22. Sewanee fought off a pair of Centre match points to make it 24-24, but sophomore Peyton Vacala (Savannah, Ga.) gave Centre the lead with a kill, and then freshmen Perrin Long (Covington, Ky.) and Savanna Roper (Hendersonville, N.C.) combined for a tandem block to give the Colonels a 26-24 win.

The Tigers dominated the next two sets, taking advantage of 20 Centre errors while playing nearly mistake-free volleyball, committing just three errors across the second and third set. Sewanee took early leads in both sets and never looked back, winning 25-16 in the second set and 25-13 in the third.

The fourth set looked like a repeat of the previous two with Sewanee taking an early 10-5 lead. Vacala reentered the fray and delivered a pair of clutch aces to give Centre momentum. The Colonels eventually took a 24-20 lead, but Sewanee proved to be tough to put away, scoring the next four points to tie the game. Freshman Kylie Cochran (Buckner, Ky.) put home a kill for a 25-24 Centre lead, and then a disputed error call went to a replay challenge and went in favor of the Colonels as Centre extended the match to its limit.

Both teams struggled to gain momentum in the final set, with multiple service errors on both sides. The Colonels forced a match point at 14-12, but Sewanee again came back to tie the score. From there, Sewanee forced a match point at 17-16, but Vacala evened the match with a clutch kill. Centre took an 18-17 lead after a Tiger error and senior Hailey Foote (Prospect, Ky.) put home her 19th and final kill to give Centre a 19-17 win.

Foote's 19 kills represented a team high. She also led the Colonels with 13 digs, while senior Morgan Babey (LaGrange, Ky.) added 11 digs for Centre. Cochran posted a game high 36 assists for the Colonels.

Centre volleyball will spend the weekend in Alumni Gym, starting with a Saturday showdown against the Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe. The Colonels won both matches against Oglethorpe in 2016, but both matches went five sets.