Colonels sweep Principia and Spalding in season finale tri-match

Colonels sweep Principia and Spalding in season finale tri-match

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Centre volleyball team played its final matches of the 2017 regular season with a tri-match against host Spalding and Principia. The Colonels came away with a sweep, defeating Principia in four sets before beating Spalding in straight sets.

In the opening contest against Principia, the Colonels found themselves in an early hole in the first set, but chipped away at the eight-lead, eventually tying the score at 23-23. Principia would score the next two points to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-23 win.

The second set saw multiple momentum swings at the end. The Colonels led 21-19 before Principia scored the next three points to take the lead. Sophomore Bailey Vernon (Old Hickory, Tenn.) scored two straight kills to put Centre back on top. Principia responded, forcing a set point at 24-23, but sophomore Keeley Morton (Bristol, Tenn.) and senior Hailey Foote (Prospect, Ky.) provided kills in a 3-0 spurt that won the second set for Centre by a score of 26-24.

Centre went on a 10-2 run to turn a 16-12 third set deficit into a 22-18 lead. Principia trimmed the lead to a single point at 24-23, but Foote stopped the rally with the winning kill as Centre's 25-23 victory put the Colonels up 2-1.

In the fourth set, Principia held the early lead, but the Colonels went on a 9-2 run to take the lead for good, eventually pulling away to a 25-16 win with freshman Savanna Roper (Hendersonville, N.C.) converting the clinching kill for the Colonels.

Morton and Vernon each posted career highs of 13 kills to lead the Colonels against Principia. Freshman Kylie Cochran (Buckner, Ky.) dished out a career high 48 assists in the win and also led all players with 22 digs, as Hailey Foote, seniors Morgan Babey (LaGrange, Ky.) and Zoe Doubles (Troutville, Va.), and sophomore Peyton Vacala (Savannah, Ga.) each had at least 17 digs in the match.

Against Spalding, the Colonels faced a 17-13 deficit in the opening set, but took advantage of Spalding errors to go on a 9-1 run and take the lead for good. Centre scored 12 out of the final 14 points in the set, with an ace by Cochran providing the final point in a 25-19 win.

The second set saw the Colonels lead from start to finish, utilizing an 11-2 rally to blow open what had been a close contest and go up by double digits. Centre never looked back, eventually winning by a score of 25-13.

The third set was more of the same as Centre jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and never let the Golden Eagles into the match, halting every rally and winning 25-16 with junior Lizzie Royster (Lincoln, Neb.) putting home the final kill in the match.

Foote led the way for Centre with 18 kills. Cochran finished with 25 assists, ten more than Spalding's team had for the match. Sophomore Vacala (Savannah, Ga.) had a game high 14 digs, followed by Babey with ten digs.

The Centre volleyball will face Hendrix in the opening round of the Southern Athletic Association Tournament on Friday. The home team won both matchups during the regular season, with both matches going the full five sets.