The UWG volleyball team routed Montevallo 3-0 in their home opener on Sept. 4 snapping a three-game losing streak.
The Wolves started out strong in their first set, leading the Falcons 7-1. Montevallo evened the score to 8-7, but the Falcons were never able to take the lead. The Wolves pulled away to win the first set 25-17 on four consecutive kills. Junior outside hitter Emily Reul was credited with the final kill in the match.
The Falcons struggled in the second set and managed to tie the game at 5-5 and 8-8, but were not able to overcome the Wolves defense. UWG freshman Tiffany Ancrum suffered a knee injury halfway through the second set, but the Wolves were able to recover and take control of the game. UWG blasted the Falcons in the remainder of the set, finishing with a score of 25-16.
The Wolves ended Montevallo’s hopes for a comeback with a dominant performance in their third set. UWG took the lead early and maintained it for the entire set. The Wolves, led by Reul, kept the momentum that was gained in the second set and sent the Falcons home with a final score of 25-16.
UWG coach Gary Lee noted that the team had been out of stamina coming into the game after a tough weekend of away matchups. “We had a good rest this past weekend and we came in today and wanted to do well and we did.”
The Wolves already had to fill gaps in their lineup after just the second game. “Overall it was a great start to begin with even on the road, then in the second game we lost Helen Menchinger, so that disrupted our flow a little bit and we had to change our lineup,” Lee said. The team showed a degree of depth after losing Ancrum and was still able to put a solid lineup on the court. “When Tiffany went down with a knee injury, it didn’t really faze them… It was a good learning experience right off the bat.”
Tuesday night’s game proved to be an important win for the Wolves. The Falcons are a Gulf South Conference rival and had opened the season with a 3-1 record before falling to UWG.
The game’s standout performance came from Reul, who had an impressive 11 kills. Reul is currently hitting .367 and racked up nine digs in the match. “She’s a great leader. During the summer, she kept up with the players as far as workouts go,” Lee said. “Right now her playing is unstoppable. Against a good team or a bad team, she’s hitting good numbers.”
Junior Lesley Bemis also shined in Tuesday’s matchup, accounting for ten kills. Fellow junior Melissa Holt had a total of 13 digs on the night, and senior outside hitter Audrey Hipple had ten digs for the Wolves.
UWG looks ahead to their next round of competition in a four-game tournament at University of Alabama-Huntsville Country Inn & Suites Invitational.