Kissimmee, FL – Southern Wesleyan defeated the Life Pacific Warriors in their third game of pool play in the NCCAA Nationals in a 3-2 final.
The Warriors posted 61 kills. Paige O'Connor led the team with 17 while Olivia Johnson and Kendall Vallancourt followed her with 15 kills apiece. Southern Wesleyan boasted 60 assists, with junior Annika Jones leading the team with 52. Anna Hughey delivered three aces and Kendall Vallancourt led the team with three blocks. Katie Anderson led the team with 19 digs while Anna Martin followed her with 17.
Set One Final: Life Pacific 25, Southern Wesleyan 18
Set Two Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Life Pacific 23
Set Three Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Life Pacific 18
Set Four Final: Life Pacific 25, Southern Wesleyan 23
Set Five Final: Southern Wesleyan 19, Life Pacific 17
Records: Southern Wesleyan (19-15) Life Pacific (23-13)
How It Happened
Life Pacific led off in the first set, however a kill by Paige O'Connor allowed the Warriors to tie it up. Southern Wesleyan took the lead on a kill by Olivia Johnson, but Life Pacific tied it on a kill by Mariah Durant. Life Pacific took the lead, but Southern Wesleyan kept the first set within three points on kills by Olivia Johnson and Shelby Sheets to bring the score to 8-5. Kills by Courtney Price, Paige O'Connor and Annika Jones allowed the Warriors to keep Life Pacific's lead to five and make the score 14-9. Life Pacific stormed ahead, despite kills by O'Connor and Price to win the first set 25-18.
Life Pacific took the early lead on an ace, but Southern Wesleyan countered to tie it 1-1 on a kill by Annika Jones. Like in set one, Life Pacific took the lead early, however a kill by Shelby Sheets and ace by Katie Anderson allowed Southern Wesleyan to cut their lead to 7-5. With Life Pacific leading 13-10, Annika Jones delivered an ace to put the Warriors within two points of Life Pacific and then back-to-back attack errors by Life Pacific allowed Southern Wesleyan to tie the second set up 13-13. A block by Courtney Price allowed Southern Wesleyan to take the lead for the first time in the set and bring the score to 15-14. The Warriors lengthened their lead to 19-17 on an ace by Shelby Sheets. Southern Wesleyan fought to win the second set 25-23.
Southern Wesleyan started strong in the third set with a kill by Paige O'Connor to give them a 1-0 lead over Life Pacific. Kills by O'Connor and Kendall Vallancourt, and an ace by Anna Hughey allowed the Warriors to lengthen their lead to 4-1. Life Pacific fought back with kills by Mariah Durant and Jasmine Broad, but errors allowed the Warriors to maintain a 6-4 lead. The Warriors took a five point lead on kills by Vallancourt and Olivia Johnson to bring the score to 8-4. An ace by Anna Hughey pushed the Warriors lead to 18-15 over Life Pacific. Southern Wesleyan pushed onward with kills by Annika Jones, O'Connor and Vallancourt to give the Warriors a 25-18 victory in the third set.
Southern Wesleyan struck first in the fourth set on a kill by Kendall Vallancourt. Life Pacific countered with kills by Jasmine Broad to take a 7-5 point lead over the Warriors. Southern Wesleyan countered with kills by Paige O'Connor and Vallancourt to put the Warriors down 10-12. The Warriors fought back with kills by Courtney Price and O'Connor and an ace by O'Connor, but Life Pacific won the fourth set 25-23.
Life Pacific started off the fifth set with an ace, but Southern Wesleyan countered to tie the set with a kill by Paige O'Connor. Southern Wesleyan and Life Pacific exchanged the lead several times in the final set of the match. Back-to-back kills by Olivia Johnson allowed Southern Wesleyan to a 13-12 point lead over Life Pacific. The Warriors went on to win the final set 19-17.
NCCAA Nationals pool play will continue at 6 p.m. as the Warriors take on Oakland City. This will conclude Southern Wesleyan's 2017 season.