Quakers Rally To Finish 2-1 at Guilford Volleyball Invitational

Bryce Smith '21 (Emily Heck '21 photo)
Bryce Smith '21 (Emily Heck '21 photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College's volleyball team concluded play in the Guilford Invitational Saturday by splitting two five-set matches. The Quakers (6-4) dropped a 3-2 decision to tournament champ William Peace University (9-0) and rallied for a 3-2 win over Salem College (3-5) in Saturday's final contest.

Maryville (Tenn.) College defeated Salem, 3-0, and William Peace defeated Maryville, 3-1, in Saturday's other two contests. On Friday, William Peace downed Salem, 3-0, and the Quakers topped Maryville, 3-1.

Guilford had a 2-1 lead in its first match of the day after winning the opening set, 27-25, and the third set, 25-10. William Peace battled back for a 28-26 victory in the fourth set and pulled out a 15-11 decision in the fifth to clinch the victory. Pacers' senior Mya Parks accounted for 25 of her team's 70.5 points in the contest thanks in part to a match-high 24 kills. She also had 17 digs and two blocks for William Peace. Abby Benton also had a strong match with 13 putaways, plus three service aces and 19 digs. Libero Bergin Gillespie shared game-high honors with 24 digs and added five assists.

Christian Ritter paced Guilford's offense with 16 kills and also had 24 digs. Teammate Cam Blankenship contributed 10 kills and two blocks against William Peace and middle blocker Khaira Bolden was solid with 13 points on six kills, two service aces and seven blocks. Rookie Jenna Myer had 25 Guilford assists, plus 13 digs. Senior Tina Eucker set up 19 kills.

After a convincing 25-12 opening-set win over Salem, Guilford appeared well on its way to victory in its second contest. Salem had other thoughts, however, and won the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-16. The Spirits had a 23-21 fourth-set lead set before Guilford reeled off four straight points to force a decisive fifth set. The teams traded points to start the final set before Guilford strung together a 6-1 run to finish the comeback. Guilford senior Jasmine Gaines had four of her team-high 14 kills in the winning rally.

Gaines also led the Quakers with 15 points in a solid all-around performance. Morgan Tompkins chipped in 12 points on seven kills, two aces, and six blocks. Blankenship totaled 11 points, eight putaways, and four blocks. Eucker had 35 assists and Bryce Smith picked up a match-high 22 digs.

Kathryn O'Connell's 13 kills and five blocked led Salem. She also had 12 digs and was one of four Spirits with 10 or more pickups. Taylor Moulton had 11 kills, 15 digs, and four blocks. Hannah Delcamp added 29 assists, four kills, two aces, and two blocks.

Coach Emily Gann's Quakers visit league-rival Hollins University Wednesday (9/18) at 6:30 p.m.

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