- Staff Reporter
MOBILE, Ala. — The Nicholls State University women’s volleyball program (6-4, 0-0 Southland) faced a challenging pair of matches at the South Alabama Invitational on Friday afternoon, initially falling in five sets against Bethune-Cookman (3-6, 0-0 MEAC) to open the tournament before battling in-state rival Louisiana Tech (8-4, 0-0 C-USA) for the second time this season, dropping the rematch to the Lady Techsters by a 3-1 margin.
GAME ONE vs. BETHUNE-COOKMAN (L 2-3)
— In the first match of the tournament, the Red & Gray went toe-to-toe across all five sets against the Wildcats, opening the contest with a 26-24 first set win and evening the game later in the fourth by a 25-21 margin. In the decisive fifth set, both squads rallied on numerous occasions, ending when Bethune-Cookman notched back-to-back points for a 17-15 victory.
— Sophomore Emily Gauthreaux outperformed expectations with a 24 kill display in the loss, posting the team’s best individual offensive showing this season (previous holder: junior Kate Hoerdemann with 20 kills vs. Georgia Southern). Both Hoerdemann and sophomore Aaliyah Burras notched solid performances as well, picking up 15 kills apiece.
— Meanwhile, junior S Meghan Wozniak dominated as the squad’s primary setter, picking up 65 assists in the match.
— On the defensive end, senior Emily Venable led the squad behind 26 digs while Hoerdemann & Gauthreaux combined for 33 in the opener. The sophomore also led the Colonels in blocks, capturing three herself while Burras & junior Kimberly Iwunze posted two apiece.
GAME TWO vs. LOUISIANA TECH (L 1-3)
— Despite forcing a five-set match in last weekend’s headline contest at the LA Tech Invitational, the Colonels were only able to pick up the first set (25-21) before the Lady Techsters took control, securing the final three sets for the eventual victory.
— Offensively, only Hoerdemann & Gauthreaux managed to post double-digit kill performances, combining for 29 on the match.
— Wozniak remained consistent as a setter, notching 33 assists in the tight loss along with 15 digs, good for second best on the team.
— Venable once again led in digs, picking up 17, while Burras paced the team behind her three blocks.
With the tournament’s opening day concluded, the Colonels turn their attention the team’s finale against host South Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 21, first serve set for 4:30 p.m. in Mobile, Ala.
Article sourced from provided press release.