BOONE, N.C. — The Appalachian State volleyball team suffered defeats at the hands of ACC foe Clemson and SEC opponent Mississippi State on the final day of the Appalachian Invitational on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (4-2) dropped a highly contested five-set contest to invitational champion Clemson (4-2) 25-22, 19-25, 21-25, 26-24, 15-10. App State fell to Mississippi State (2-5) 27-25, 25-23, 25-18 in the final match against the weekend.
For her efforts on the weekend, Emma Longley was named to the All-Tournament Team. She totaled 41 kills on a .254 hitting percentage and 19 digs over three matches.
Against Clemson, it was the Tigers taking the opening frame 25-22. In Set 2, App State raced out to a 7-1 lead and built a 17-10 edge. The Tigers would pull within three points, but a kill by Lexi Kohut gave the Mountaineers the frame 25-19 to even the set score at 1-1.
In Set 3, the Black and Gold started quickly again and opened a 13-8 advantage. Clemson would pull within one point at 15-14, before three straight Mountaineer points pushed their lead back to 18-14. After the Tigers cut the App State lead to 22-20, the Mountaineers scored three of the final four points to clinch the set 25-21 and build a 2-1 advantage.
Appalachian State jumped out to an 7-1 lead in the fourth frame, only to see Clemson storm back and take a 16-15 lead. The Tigers appeared to win the set 25-23, but a challenge by head coach Matt Ginipro overturned the potential clinching point and tied the score at 24-24. The Tigers rebounded by winning the next two points to force a fifth and deciding set by a 26-24 count.
In the final frame, a kill from Kohut gave the Mountaineers a 10-9 lead. From there, the Tigers reeled off six consecutive points to clinch the set and match by a 15-10 score.
Four players reached double figure kills, led by Longley, who had 19. Melissa McMath added 16 kill, Kohut had 14 and Kara Spicer tallied 10.
Becky Porter posted a double-double with 54 assists and 10 digs. Emma Reilly finished with a season-high 20 digs and Sydney Farthing added 11.
In all, App State tallied a season-best 64 kills and hit .228 in the match.
Against Mississippi State, the Mountaineers jumped out a 16-9 lead in the opening frame. The Bulldogs would chip away at the Black and Gold lead and used a late 4-0 run to take a 23-22 advantage. The teams would trade the next five points and with the score knotted at 25-25, Mississippi State got a kill and an attack error from Kohut to take the opening set 27-25.
In Set 2, the Bulldogs scored five straight points to turn a 9-7 deficit into a 12-9 lead. App State came right back with the next six points to take a 15-12 edge. Mississippi State used a late 4-0 spurt to take a 22-20 lead. With the score tied at 23-23, the Bulldogs captured the final two points to win the set 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead.
In the third set, Mississippi State jumped out to a 12-8 lead. Appalachian State was unable to get within four points the rest of the way, as the Bulldogs took the set 25-18.
Longley paced the Mountaineers with 11 kills and just one error, finishing with a .233 hitting mark. Spicer had eight kills and McMath finished with seven.
Porter dished out 33 assists to go along with four kills. Reilly posted another double-digit dig effort, finishing with 10.
The Mountaineers will return to action on Friday and Saturday at the N.C. State/Campbell Tournament. On Friday, the Black and Gold will take on Utah Valley at 11 a.m. at N.C. State and will battle Wright State at 2 p.m. and Campbell at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Campbell.