Kissimmee, FL – Southern Wesleyan defeated the Oakland City Mighty Oaks in their final game of pool play in the NCCAA Nationals in a 3-1 final.
The Warriors delivered 64 kills in the victory over the Mighty Oaks. Paige O'Connor and Kendall Vallancourt led the team with 16 kills apiece. They were followed by Olivia Johnson with 13 kills. Annika Jones led the team with 47 assists. Jones and Shelby Sheets led the team with two aces apiece in the victory. Katie Anderson posted 24 of the Warriors 64 digs to lead the team. Anderson was followed by Annika Jones with 10 digs. The Warriors posted 17 blocks in the win with Liz Kuntz leading the team with six.
Set One Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Oakland City 19
Set Two Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Oakland City 18
Set Three Final: Oakland City 25, Southern Wesleyan 23
Set Four Final: Southern Wesleyan 25, Oakland City 15
Records: Southern Wesleyan (20-15), Oakland City (16-11)
How It Happened
Southern Wesleyan put points on the board first against Oakland City and then pulled ahead to take a 2-1 lead on a kill by Paige O'Connor. Kills by O'Connor and Shelby Sheets allowed the Warriors to take their lead to 9-8. The Mighty Oaks challenged each kill the Warriors delivered, but Southern Wesleyan lengthened their lead on an ace by Annika Jones and kills by Kendall Vallancourt and Olivia Johnson, taking a 15-12 point lead over Oakland City. The Warriors went on to win the first set 25-19.
Kendall Vallancourt led off the second set for the Warriors with a kill to take a 1-0 lead. They lengthened their lead to 2-0 on a kill by Olivia Johnson. Oakland City pulled ahead of the Warriors on an ace by Courtney Pruett and kills by Bethany Hyndman, but the Warriors fought back with a kill by Vallancourt to come behind the Mighty Oaks 4-3. Annika Jones delivered a service ace to give the Warriors a 5-4 lead and then an assisted block by Olivia Johnson and Kendall Vallancourt allowed Southern Wesleyan to push their lead to 6-4. Southern Wesleyan took an 11-7 lead on kills by Annika Jonnes and Paige O'Connor. Southern Wesleyan went on to win the second set 25-18.
Oakland City jumped out first in the third set on a kill by Kaebra LaGrange. They pushed their lead to 6-2 on kills by Courtney Griffith and LaGrange. Southern Wesleyan countered with a kill by Kendall Vallancourt to put a third point on the board, but the Mounty Oaks pressed onward to remain in the lead. Southern Wesleyan battled back with kills by Olivia Johnson to allow the Warriors to cut the Mighty Oaks lead to 15-10. Despite an exciting rally by the Warriors, the Might Oaks won the third set 25-23.
Oakland City struck first in the fourth set, but a kill by Paige O'Connor allowed the Warriors to tie the set 1-1. The Warriors pulled ahead on kills by Kendall Vallancourt and Olivia Johnson to bring the score 4-2. Kills by Olivia Johnson, Annika Jones and Shelby Sheets allowed Southern Wesleyan to take a 13-11 point lead over Oakland City. The Warriors won the fourth set 25-15.