Friday, November 19, 2010

Falcons Pick Up First NCAA Tournament Victory in Program History

WINGATE, N.C. – The fifth-seeded University of Montevallo volleyball team (24-12) picked up its first NCAA Tournament victory over fourth-seeded Lincoln Memorial University (23-8), 3-1. The Falcons are in the midst of just their second NCAA Tournament appearance since joining the NCAA in 1996. The Falcons last NCAA Tournament match was at the end of the 2000 season and UM lost in the First Round 3-0 to Arkansas Tech. The Falcons were led this evening by freshman Taylor Chapman (Killen, Ala./Lexington) who recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. She also chipped in two blocks.

Redshirt-freshman Manyi Ati (Lawrenceville, Ga./Grayson) had 10 kills as well along with four blocks. Senior Rebecca Dowd (Dothan, Ala./Providence Christian School) added eight kills, eight digs and four blocks. Junior Rachel Wotitzky (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte) continues to shine in the libero role with 16 digs while junior setter Anna Garrison (LaVergne, Tenn./LaVergne) had 36 assists and nine digs.

The Falcons jumped all over the Railsplitters in the first set leading almost the entire way as they won 25-15. It was the exact opposite in the second set as the Railsplitters dominated play and won 25-9. After the first two sets both teams settled in and it was quite the battle in the third set.

LMU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead off the serve of Lia Bevins. A kill by Ati opened the door for the Falcons as they fought their way back into the match and cut the lead to 6-5. The set continued to bounce back and forth over the next several points with both teams gaining small leads. Down 22-18 the Falcons made a big push and took a 24-23 lead as sophomore Virginia Clay (Fort Collins, Colo./Poudre) provided a pair of kills to go with a number of LMU attack errors to take the lead. The Railsplitters tied the set at 24 but a service error and a bad set gave the Falcons the 26-24 set three win.

The fourth set was another tough battle but the Falcons pulled away late winning 25-20 and advancing to their first NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Falcons will take on the winner of top-seed Wingate University versus eighth-seeded Lees-McRae tomorrow at 6:30 (CST). The match will be broadcast live on the internet.

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