Rome, GA – Southern Wesleyan fell to the Shorter Hawks in non-conference play on Wednesday evening in a 3-1 final.
Southern Wesleyan posted 53 kills in the four sets against the Shorter Hawks. Olivia Johnson led the team with 17 kills. She was closely followed by Paige O'Connor with 16. Junior Annika Jones let the team in assists with 40 of the 49 assists. Three Warriors posted a service ace during the contest. Katie Anderson led the team in digs with 36 and Shelby Sheets followed her with 16 digs. Paige O'Connor led the team in blocks with four, and teammate Sarah Stone followed her with three blocks.
Set One Final: Shorter 26, Southern Wesleyan 24
Set Two Final: Southern Wesleyan 37, Shorter 35
Set Three Final: Shorter 25, Southern Wesleyan 22
Set Four Final: Shorter 25, Southern Wesleyan 16
Records: Southern Wesleyan (2-3), Shorter (2-3)
Coach Reininga says…
"I'm happy with the team's effort tonight! We played hard and learning each match! We will prepare for more great competition this weekend and get tuned up for conference play!"
How It Happened
Southern Wesleyan struck first in the debate against the Shorter Hawks on a kill by Olivia Johnson, and then a kill by junior Courtney Price gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead. However, a kill from Shorter Hawk Annie Homan allowed the Hawks to tie the set 2-2. The Hawks pulled ahead to take a 4-2 lead on a second kill by Homan. A kill by Annika Jones brought the Warriors to one point behind the Hawks, and then an attack error by the Hawks allowed the Warriors to tie the set at eleven. The tie was short lived as the Hawks charged ahead to take a 15-13 point lead. Southern Wesleyan would not go down easily, countering each point the Hawks made to stay within three points. Despite a late rally to tie the set at 24 after a kill by Annika Jones, the Warriors fell in the first set in a 26-24.
The Shorter Hawks struck first in the second set of the afternoon. However, a service error by the Hawks allowed the Warriors to put a point on the board and then a kill by freshman Olivia Johnson put the Warriors to 3-2 behind Shorter. Southern Wesleyan pulled ahead on a kill by senior Shelby Sheets. Back-to-back bad sets by the Shorter Hawks gave the Warriors an 8-4 lead. The Hawks put two points on the board, but then kills by Paige O'Connor gave the Warriors a 10-6 point lead. Shorter tied the set and then took an 11-10 point lead, but a kill by Liz Kuntz allowed SWU to tie the set again. Then kills by Olivia Johnson gave the Warriors a 13-11 point lead. The set went back-and-forth with the Warriors and the Hawks trading the lead back and forth. A kill by Paige O'Connor and then a bed set by the Hawks gave Southern Wesleyan a two point lead, but the Hawks brought the set back to within a point. With the set tied at 25 points each, the Warriors and the Hawks were pushed into extras, however each time one of the teams took the lead, the other team would tie or take a one point lead. Back-to-back kills by Paige O'Connor and Olivia Johnson gave SWU a 29-28 point lead, but a kill by Hawk Morgan Cleveland tied the set at 29. With the set tied at 35, a service error and a bad set by Shorter gave Southern Wesleyan won the second set in a 37-35 final
The Hawks took the lead first in the third set, however a service error by the Hawks allowed the Warriors to tie the set 1-1. A kill by Paige O'Connor gave Southern Wesleyan a 4-2 point lead over Shorter and then an attack error by Shorter Hawk Annie Homan brought the Warrior lead to 5-2. Paige O'Connor struck again, putting down another kill to give the Warriors a 6-4 lead. The Warriors brought their lead to 13-10 on a kill by Olivia Johnson. Southern Wesleyan could not hold onto the lead as the Hawks pulled ahead to take a 17-14 point lead on service aces by Tiffani Estep. Southern Wesleyan fought back, but it was too late as the Hawks took the third set in a final of 25-22.
Like in the two previous sets, the Hawks took the lead first in the fourth set, however a service error and attack error gave Southern Wesleyan a 2-1 point lead. However, the Hawks regained the lead on a kill by Danielle Melton to bring the 7-6. Southern Wesleyan countered with a kills by Paige O'Connor and Annika Jones to bring the Warriors to 9-8 behind the Hawks. Shorter increased their lead to 15-11, but Southern Wesleyan would not go down quietly with kills by Paige O'Connor and Olivia Johnson to bring the Warriors to 20-16 behind the Hawks. Despite the Warriors late rally, the Hawks won the final set 25-16.
The Warriors will then take part in their second tournament of the season in the Emmanuel Tournament September 8-9. They will play in matches against Alabama Huntsville, Texas A&M International, Clark Atlanta and Union. They will then travel to Gaffney, South Carolina on September 12 to play their first Conference Carolinas match against the Limestone Saints at 7 p.m.