Volleyball Pushes No. 17 Berry to Five Sets, Drops SAA Semifinal Match to End Historical Season

Volleyball Pushes No. 17 Berry to Five Sets, Drops SAA Semifinal Match to End Historical Season

MOUNT BERRY, Ga. - Despite the Sewanee volleyball team getting out to a 2-0 set lead, the 17th-ranked Berry Vikings responded by taking the final three sets to advance to the SAA Championship Match, 3-2, Saturday afternoon from The Cage Center. Sewanee's season comes to a close with a 20-8 record.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: Berry (24-3) 3, Sewanee (20-8) 2 (24-26, 15-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-7)
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HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Tigers sprinted out to a 2-0 match lead in hostile territory, but the first set did not come easy. Berry started the match with a 7-2 run before Sewanee burned its first timeout of the set.

-It took some time for the Tigers to get back in the set. Down 10-4, they were able to get the set to a 10-10 tie thanks to kills from Sydney White, Olivia Nichols and Destiny Stewart.

-The teams went back-and-forth from there, but it was the Vikings that went had the first set point, 24-22. After a service error by Berry to make it a one-point set, Sewanee scored the final three points on a Lilly Reilly service ace, a Stewart kill and the set was won on a bad set by Berry. Sewanee took the first set, 26-24.

-From there, the momentum stayed with the visitors. The Tigers started the set on a 5-1 run before Berry attempted to rally to make the set closer.

-After a Sewanee timeout, leading 11-8, they began to pull away with a 13-7 run to go up two sets to none on the 17th-ranked team in the country and the top team in the NCAA South Region Rankings.

-Through the first two sets, Sewanee held Berry to a .045 attack percentage (19-15-88), while the Tigers recorded 27 kills on 87 attempts with nine errors committed (.207).

-The match shifted significantly to the home team in the third set. After Sewanee evened the set at three points apiece, the Vikings went on a 15-6 run to make it 18-9, Berry. The Vikings used that spurt to win the set, 25-14, despite 1.5 blocks by Ellie Pedersen.

-Each team used a lengthy rally to get out early in the fourth set, but eventually, the set was tied at 10 points apiece.

-Trailing 16-14, Berry went on a 6-0 run to re-take the lead, 20-16, but once again, Sewanee got the set within two, 21-19 thanks to kills by Stewart and Pedersen and a Stewart service ace.

-The Vikings came back, scoring four of the final points to even the match at two set wins apiece and forced the contest to a deciding fifth set.

-The deciding set was all Berry, using a .556 attack percentage (10-0-18) and led at one point 7-1 en route to a 15-7 victory to advance to the championship match Sunday.

QUOTABLE
Hear from head coach Nancy Mueller-Culver on the Tigers' historical 2018 season.

Video Courtesy of Berry Athletics

SEWANEE KEY STATISTICS
-Destiny Stewart led Sewanee with 16 kills and 13 digs. Finishing the match, the sophomore racked up 17 of the team's 60 points.

-Ellie Pedersen's streak of errorless matches came to an end Saturday. However, the SAA Newcomer of the Year committed just two errors on the day, finishing with 11 kills and a .281 attack percentage (11-2-32).

-Constance Connolly added 40 assists and 16 digs, while Peyton Parent led the Tigers with 18 digs.

BERRY KEY STATISTICS
-Emily Hancock led all attackers for the match with 20 kills and 14 digs.

-Laura Beier finished with 20 digs.

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