HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s young volleyball team grew up considerably Tuesday night, outlasting conference rival Gadsden State in four sets to remain perfect in Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) play.
Wallace State outside hitter Montana Clark closed out the tight, intense match with three consecutive kills and finished with 18 digs and 10 kills, lifting the Lions to a 25-13, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 victory at Tom Drake Coliseum. The win avenged a opening-season tournament loss to the Cardinals on Aug. 30.
The Lions (12-7, 6-0 ACCC), the four-time defending state champions, battled back from early deficits in each set they won and nearly rallied from nine points down in the third set to sweep Gadsden State.
“It was a hard-fought win for us. We have a lot of respect for Gadsden State this year. It’s one of the best team I’ve seen them have. It’s encouraging to see us win these close sets considering how inexperienced we are,” said Wallace State coach Randy Daniel, whose team features 11 freshmen and only three sophomores. “We’ve worked really hard the last two or three weeks, and I think that’s putting us in the right direction. I’m very happy our team found a way to win. Give a lot of credit to our players.”
Sophomore Kianna Delaney finished with a team-high 20 kills and added eight blocks and four digs for Wallace State, BreAnna Thompson had 13 kills, Bethany Johnson added 11 kills and two digs and Syretha Pride finished with eight kills and three blocks. Taylor Traglia put together a team-high 21 assists, Blaise Brown contributed 10 assists and Nicole Penny had five. Rosemary Wendel had 16 digs for the Lions, while Payton Norris added seven.
Wallace State won the first set after trailing early, 6-2. After pulling it even at 7-7, the Lions closed the first set on a 19-6 run.
It was more of the same in the second set. Gadsden State built leads of 13-9 and 17-13 before Wallace State rallied again. The Lions tied it at 17-17 and again at 21-21 before doubling up the Cardinals to close it out.
Gadsden State orchestrated a 20-11 cushion in the third set and eventually held off another strong Wallace State charge to win its lone set of the match.
Wallace State had to come from behind again in the fourth and final set. Gadsden State held a 16-11 lead before the Lions answered with a 6-1 run to notch things up at 17-17. There were five more ties before Wallace State scored the final two points of the set, getting three consecutive kills from Clark to seal the victory.
Wallace State continues conference play Wednesday, traveling to Snead State for a 6 p.m. match.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State players celebrating, from left, are Montana Clark (16), Syretha Pride and Bethany Johnson after the team scores a point against Gadsden State.
Wallace State outside hitter Montana Clark (16) jumps for the ball before knocking it over the net in the Lions’ match against Gadsden State on Tuesday.
Syretha Pride (4) blocks a shot from a Gadsden State player during the second set of their match.
Rosemary Wendel (15) prepares to assist a teammate during Wallace State’s match against Gadsden State.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
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Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu