STATESBORO, Ga. – Five players had at least seven kills as Appalachian State volleyball opened Sun Belt play with a 27-25, 25-20, 25-18 victory at Georgia Southern on Friday evening.
The Mountaineers (9-4, 1-0 SBC) have now won four of their last five Sun Belt openers. The victory was also the first sweep to open conference play since the 2014 season, when App State also posted a 3-0 sweep of Georgia Southern.
Emma Longley paced Appalachian State with a match-high 15 kills, while adding eight digs. Kara Spicer finished with nine kills and four blocks, Victoria Wilform added nine kills and Becky Porter chipped in with seven kills, to go along with a match-high 38 assists. Melissa McMath also posted seven kills.
On defense, Emma Reilly had a match-high 18 digs, with Sydney Farthing also reaching double figures with 11. Porter and Anna Kincaid each had five blocks in the victory.
In the opening set, the Eagles (4-10, 0-1 SBC) scored four straight points to turn a two-point deficit into a two-point lead at 14-12. App State would answer with a 4-0 run later in the set to open a 21-20 edge. The score would be tied five more times, before a kill from Spicer and block assists from Porter and Spicer clinched the opening set for the Mountaineers by a 27-25 count.
In Set 2, App State used four straight points in the middle of the frame to build a 16-11 lead. The Black and Gold would expand their lead to eight points, only to see the Eagles trim the lead to 23-20. But the Mountaineers got kills from Spicer and Longley to win the final two points to close out the set and open a 2-0 lead.
In the third frame, Appalachian came out strong and used a 6-0 run to jump out to a 7-2 lead. Georgia Southern would cut the Black and Gold lead to two points, but the Mountaineers regained control and pulled away to finish off the sweep by a 25-18 score.
As a team, the Black and Gold hit .229 with 49 kills against just 19 errors.
The Mountaineers will be in action again on Saturday, as they continue opening weekend of Sun Belt play at Georgia State at 7 p.m.