GREENSBORO, N.C.—Tests came early for Agnes Scott Volleyball as the Scotties dropped its first three matches of the 2018 season at the Greensboro College Tournament. Agnes Scott saw marked improvement as the weekend wore on, including hitting at a high clip in a close five-set loss to a talented Piedmont International squad to end Saturday's event.
The Scotties will look to rebound from the tough start when they host Toccoa Falls on Tuesday evening in Woodruff Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Match One: Greensboro 3-0 Agnes Scott (25-14, 25-19, 25-12)
The youthful Scotties had to shake off their nerves early on against a Greensboro team that made the USA South postseason a year ago. Relying on many first-years after graduating a majority of its starting lineup from a season ago, Agnes Scott struggled to get its rhythm going on the offensive side. The Scotties finished the match with only 14 kills and a -.025 hitting percentage compared to 44 and .214 marks the Pride.
Agnes' best shot at climbing back into the match came in the second set, when they raced out to a 13-lead on the arm of sophomore Tiara White (Sinton, Texas). However, a 10-1 run by the Pride spoiled any thoughts of drawing even in the match before pulling away in the third set.
First-year Kalia Jones (Atlanta, Ga.) led the Scotties with five total points, including two solo blocks.
Match Two: Bob Jones 3-0 Agnes Scott (25-12, 25-18, 25-15)
The Scotties looked a bit more comfortable on Saturday morning, but ran into another locked-in offense from Bob Jones. Agnes Scott posted a hitting percentage just under .200 in the first set with eight kills only to see the Bruins knock in 17 kills to only two hitting errors. Bob Jones would not hit that well the rest of the match.
Agnes Scott seemed to hit its stride in the second set against the Bruins by jumping out a five-point lead early and holding onto a positive margin by the midway point of the game. However, Bob Jones was able to put together two substantial runs to turn the tables on the Scotties, never allowing them to get closer than two points for the remainder.
The third set started even better for the Scotties as they held an 8-1 advantage only a few moments into it. But the senior-laden Bruins flexed their consistency once again with a 16-4 run to take its first lead since the end of the second set and send the Scotties down in three.
Morgan Pearson (Pensacola, Fla.) was the leading Scottie on offense with 10 kills at a .207 clip. The senior outside hitter also lead Agnes Scott with two service aces for a total of 12 points. Anabel Braziel (Florence, Ala.) and White shared the defensive duties with 10 digs each.
Match Three: Piedmont International 3-2 Agnes Scott (25-13, 16-25, 23-25, 27-25, 15-8)
Agnes saw its best results of the weekend in its final match.
After dropping the first set soundly against the Bruins, Agnes Scott's even attack rounded into form. The Scotties hit a season high .344 in the second set and never trailed. The Scotties led by as many as 11 points in a set that saw sophomores Musumaulai Galoia (Hephzibah, Ga.) and White break out in a big way. Seemingly every other point was finished off by the duo to spark the Scotties to their first set win of 2018.
That momentum carried well into third set where the Scotties found themselves in their tightest game of the young season. Down two late, Agnes received timely kills from Galoia, White and Bella Kammerer (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) to grab a 22-20 lead. The Bruins were able to tie the match back at 23-23, only to see back-to-back Scottie kills from White and Jones.
Another back-and-forth battle ensued in the fourth set with another 23-23 deadlock in the late stages. The Scotties earned a match point on a Bruin attack error, but Piedmont International was able to win four of the final five points to even the match score at two each.
The Bruins used their new life with an 8-1 run to start the deciding set before besting the Scotties 15-8 for the victory.
White, Jones and Galoia all finished with double-digit kills at 14, 11 and 10 respectively. Ahmanie Guillaume (Orlando, Fla.) and Kammerer were the defensive standouts with 15 digs apiece.
Agnes Scott finished with nine service aces, including five off the serve of Kammerer. The Scotties also notched a season-high 10 total blocks.