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The William & Mary volleyball team put on an impressive show Saturday morning against La Salle, winning three close sets to take the match 3-0.
With the win, the Tribe evens its record at 1-1 on the year, while the Explorers fell to 1-1. In the second morning match of the Tribe Invitational, Gardner-Webb (2-0) defeated Norfolk State (0-2), 3-1.
The Tribe’s total team effort saw five players record five or more kills, and four earned at least five blocks.
Sophomore Paige Humphrey (Oak Hill, Va.) counted herself both ways, hitting a team-best eight kills to go with six blocks. Senior Carolyn Albright (Raleigh, N.C.) had seven kills of her own and a match-high seven blocks, and classmate Dessi Koleva (Torrance, Calif.) made seven kills, 12 digs, and five blocks.
Also of note, senior Mallory Brickerd (Ashburn, Va.) continued her strong weekend with five more kills and six blocks, and sophomore Sydney Biniak (Elkridge, Md.) chipped in five more kills.
Away from the net, sophomore Sara Zumbach (Franklin, Tenn.) led the Tribe with 16 digs, and freshman Katie Kemp (Brentwood, Tenn.) had 14 assists, nine digs, and a service ace. Junior setter Gabrielle Pe (Virginia Beach, Va.) also provided a service ace, complementing it with 13 assists and five digs.
All three sets were extremely tight, as W&M won by a combined seven points after 26 ties and 14 lead changes.
In the first, La Salle pulled ahead by two at 13-11, before W&M strung together four straight points to swing the lead permanently in the Tribe’s favor. That run was ended by a pair of blocks between Albright and sophomore Maddie Sanford (Georgetown, Texas), and the Tribe never trailed again all the way until Sanford put the exclamation on a 25-22 win.
The second set saw a similar situation, with the Explorers edging ahead 18-17 and prompting a W&M timeout. The break was just what the doctor ordered, and a pair of blocks and a kill by Humphrey put the Green and Gold on top 21-18.
La Salle made one more gasp late, tying and taking the lead at 25-24, but Biniak and Humphrey had back-to-back kills to save set point and put the Tribe on the brink. Another Biniak kill gained a second match-point at 27-26, and the next visitor error gave the 2-0 lead to W&M.
In the third, after La Salle came out on fire witha 5-1 lead, W&M calmly responded and ran up a 7-1 run to move ahead 10-7. The Explorers battled back into a one-point lead, but another 8-1 run for the home team gave a 20-14 lead that W&M was able to stretch far enough to cover a few runs and win 25-23 on Biniak’s fifth kill of the match. The Tribe’s 14 total blocks were the eighth-best ever for a three-set match, and Albright’s seven blocks individually tied her for 16th in a three-set match in school history.
William & Mary is back in action today, hosting Norfolk State at 7 p.m. The match will have both live stats and live video on TribeAthletics.com.