Samford Volleyball sweeps weekend series

The Samford University volleyball team closed out its second Southern Conference home weekend Sunday with a 3-0 sweep of Wofford. With the Bulldogs' upset of Furman on Saturday and the sweep of Wofford today, they are back at .500 in league play and have now won three in a row.

Samford (11-13, 5-5 SoCon) showed great poise and intensity against Wofford (12-16, 2-8 SoCon) as the Terriers battled the Bulldogs hard in sets one and three. However, the Bulldogs made plays when it counted and showed that their maturity was enough to bring them out on top. Samford out-blocked Wofford, 9-5, and hit a match-high .583 in the second set.

"There were some times earlier in the season that we have been down and out," Samford head coach Derek Schroeder said. "We got down a couple of times today but we never felt like we were out. We made some great plays when we needed to and managed to squeak out a win in set one and set three, and we put our offense on display in set two, that's for sure."

The Bulldogs and Terriers fought through 11 tied scores and only two lead changes in the first set, but it came down to the wire much like the first set in Saturday's match with Furman. The Bulldogs played their second extra-point set in two days but managed to come out with the win this time.

"If you look at the scores in the SoCon this week, everyone has been playing extra points in the first set, so coming up with those plays at the end of set one was huge for us," Schroeder said. "It's just another shot of confidence in our arm even more knowing that we can make those plays at the end of sets."

Lauren Hutchinson led the Bulldogs against the Terriers, hitting .500 and tallying 12 kills on 18 attempts while also posting three block assists. Casey Garvey dished out a team-high 39 assists and nine digs while also adding two block assists, an ace and a kill. Lyndsey Holt led the back row with 11 digs while also adding three kills, two aces and a block assist.

Allie Bettinger led the left side with a team-high 14 kills and a .440 hitting percentage. Elizabeth Neisler tallied eight kills and hit .286 while also adding a dig and a block assist. "This is probably the best our left sides have played all year," Schroeder said. "When teams focus on our middles, that makes it easier for our outsides to do something great, and the left sides really showed up today."

Katie Murphy posted eight kills and hit .250 while also adding four solo blocks, two block assists, a dig and an assist. Samantha Bland finished with 10 digs while Alexis Bauer and Hillary Fountain each had five digs and an ace. Bauer also tallied one assist.

Stacy Byrd led the Terriers with 13 kills and seven digs while also grabbing a block assist. Wendy Burnett, Arden Anderson and Rachel Woodlee posted four kills each while Bekah Dorsey led in assists with 15 followed by Tara Gough with eight. Woodlee also led in blocks with three block assists while Anderson tallied Wofford's only solo block.

The Bulldogs continue their five-match homestand Wednesday, Oct. 29, as they host SoCon rival Chattanooga. Samford currently leads the Southern Railroad Rivalry with the Mocs, 1-0, after the Bulldogs swept the Lady Mocs in Chattanooga earlier this month. Match play begins at 6 p.m. in the Pete Hanna Center.