Warriors Thwart Lions to Win NCCAA South Region

Photo by John Bolton Photography
Photo by John Bolton Photography

Central, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan defeated the Emmanuel Lions in the NCCAA South Regional Championship in a 3-2 final.

The Warriors posted 57 kills in the victory, with senior Paige O'Connor leading the team with 25 kills.  O'Connor was followed by Kendall Vallancourt and Olivia Johnson with 13 kills each.  Junior Annika Jones led the team with 54 assists and three aces.  She was followed by Katie Anderson with two aces.  Anna Martin boasted 26 digs.  Martin was followed by Anderson with 18 and Jones with 12.  Kendall Vallancourt led the team with four blocks.  She was followed by Paige O'Connor, Liz Kuntz and Olivia Johnson with three blocks.


Match Vitals

Set One Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Emmanuel 22

Set Two Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Emmanuel 23

Set Three Final: Emmanuel 26, Southern Wesleyan 24

Set Four Final: Emmanuel 25, Southern Wesleyan 23

Set Five Final: Southern Wesleyan 15, Emmanuel 12

Records: Southern Wesleyan (18-13), Emmanuel (17-11)


Coach Reininga says…

"I'm so proud of the way the team fought today against a really strong Emmanuel team.  I'm so proud of the senior class and so happy for the team!  We are looking forward to a fun week in Florida at nationals."


How It Happened

Set One

Emmanuel broke out first in the NCCAA South Regional Championship on Saturday afternoon.  However an attack error by the Lions allowed the Warriors to tie the set 1-1.  Kills by Kendall Vallancourt and a service ace by Annika Jones allowed the Warriors to charge ahead to take a 5-2 lead over the Lions of Emmanuel.  Kills by Olivia Johnson, Shelby Sheets and Paige O'Connor allowed the Warriors to maintain an 11-9 point lead over Emmanuel.  Emmanuel fought back, but Southern Wesleyan won the first set in a 25-22 final.

Set Two

Emmanuel broke out first, but a kill by Kendall Vallancourt allowed Southern Wesleyan to take a 2-1 lead over the Lions.  The Lions took the lead on kills by Julie de Blanck, but kills by Vallancourt and Olivia Johnson allowed the Warriors to take a 16-13 point lead.  The Lions countered to tie the second set at 17, but a kill by Vallancourt allowed the Warriors to regain control of the set.  Southern Wesleyan won the second set 25-23.

Set Three

The Lions broke out early, taking a 2-0 lead before Kendall Vallancourt made a kill to put the Warriors on the board.  Emmanuel held control of the game, however kills by Paige O'Connor, Olivia Johnson and Shelby sheets and an ace by Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to gain momentum to tie the third set 15-15.  Despite the Warriors late rally, the Lions won the third set 26-24.

Set Four

Like the previous three sets, Emmanuel jumped out first, however back-to-back kills by Paige O'Connor allowed the Warriors to tie the fourth set 2-2.  Southern Wesleyan and Emmanuel battled throughout the fourth set, exchanging the lead several times.  Despite a late rally to tie the fourth set at 23, Emmanuel won the fourth set 25-23.

Set Five

Southern Wesleyan broke out first in the final set of the evening.  Kills by Paige O'Connor and Olivia Johnson allowed the Warriors to counter each of the Lions attacks and keep the set tied 5-5.  Johnson and Shelby Sheets delivered kills to give the Warriors an 11-7 advantage.  Southern Wesleyan won the final set 15-12.


What's Next

Southern Wesleyan will next travel to Kissimmee, Florida to compete in the NCCAA Nationals.