Montgomery, Ala. - The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team went 1-1 in the opening round of the SSAC Tournament pool play. They fell to Spring Hill College, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, and 25-14 but followed it up with a 13-25, 25-19, 25-20, 20-25, and 15-12 victory over Brenau University on Thursday at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl.
In the opening match against the Badgers, outside hitters Katie Hamilton and Lauren Brand led Loyola’s offense in the first game. Each recorded 13 kills while middle blocker Sabrina Stansberry had 12. The attack was aided by senior setter Samantha Worsham who tabbed 50 assists and two service aces. In the backcourt, sophomore libero Becca Burnett recorded 23 digs as Stansberry and senior outside hitter Kailey Tuthill notched a block apiece.
Spring Hill’s attack was led by Sha Sha Buchanan who had 18 kills, and Sami Hantak who tabbed 12. Meredith Donald notched 19 digs in the backcourt and Sami Maurer had 17. Megan Haber recorded three blocks at the net.
In the second match of the day, Brenau took the first set before the Pack came back with two wins to go up 2-1 on the match. The Golden Tigers won set four, but Loyola finished off the match with a fifth set victory to break even on the day.
The Pack’s offense was again paved by Brand and Stansberry, as well as freshman outside hitter Eva Allen. Brand recorded 17 kills and was closely followed by Allen with 16 and Stansberry who had 15. Worsham aided the attack once more with 54 assists, as Stansberry added two service aces and a block. Burnett held down the defense tabbing 21 digs while Tuthill notched 13 as well as a block.
The last three pool play matches will be held on Friday morning to determine the six teams that will advance to the single elimination bracket held Friday evening and Saturday. Loyola has completed the pool play portion of the tournament.
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