W&M Volleyball Downs Norfolk State 3-1 to Win Tournament

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Courtesy TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy TribeAthletics.com

The William & Mary volleyball team rode a suffocating defense and its best hitting performance of the weekend to a 3-1 win over Norfolk State on Saturday night.

With the win, W&M improved to 2-1 on the year, and won the Tribe Invitational over La Salle, Gardner-Webb, and the 0-3 Spartans.

Sophomore Sara Zumbach (Franklin, Tenn.) had 12 more digs against Norfolk State to raise her weekend total to 51 (a 4.25 per set average), and was named the Tournament MVP by vote of the coaches.

Senior Dessi Koleva (Torrance, Calif.) had her best outing of the weekend and came away with a double-double of 14 kills and 20 digs. She also set a career-high with three aces, and also hit .462 overall to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

Koleva ranked third in the tournament with 4.75 digs pre set, and fourth with 2.88 points per set.

Senior Carolyn Albright (Raleigh, N.C.) rounded out the Tribe’s all-tournament honors with a night of six kills and five blocks. Albright was the tournament’s best blocker, averaging 1.33 per set, and was third in hitting percentage at .292.

Also of note against Norfolk State, sophomore Sydney Biniak (Elkridge, Md.) hit .333 with 11 kills and three blocks, and junior Gabrielle Pe (Virginia Beach, Va.) served up a career-high four aces to go with a double-double of 20 assists and 11 digs.

Freshman Heather Pippus (Lake Oswego, Ore.) made her Tribe debut with seven kills, four digs, three blocks, and an ace; and classmateKatie Kemp (Brentwood, Tenn.) had 18 assists, seven digs, an ace and her first collegiate kill.

W&M came out on fire in the first set, churning out six aces early to jump out to a 13-4 lead. That lead only grew from there, until kills by Pippus and Albright finished the frame at 25-9. The Spartans rallied though, and battled back late in the second to even the match 1-1 with a 25-23 win.

The third looked like it might go to the visitors also, but the Tribe executed the long and steady play to perfection, reeling in the Spartans at 21-, 22-, and 23-all.

Junior Kristen Larrick (Bethesda, Md.) subbed in at that point, and teamed up with Biniak for a block and set point.  After Norfolk State’s final timeout, Pe dished up her fourth ace of the night and grabbed the 2-1 lead in the match.

The fourth and final set went W&M’s way early, opening up an 11-5 lead, but a strong service game for the Spartans bought them back into the match and even the lead at 21-20.

The Tribe called a timeout to talk things over, and snagged three straight points to flip the script and go up 23-21. From there, it was simply a matter of trading points until the close at 25-23.

William & Mary is back in action on Tuesday night, traveling up the road to VCU at 7 p.m. in Richmond.

Tribe Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP – Sara Zumbach, W&M
Carolyn Albright, W&M
Dessi Koleva, W&M
Jensen Sharrits, La Salle
Ashley Felton, La Salle
Anna Pashkova, Gardner-Webb
Jene Lee, Gardner-Webb
Angie Darcus, Norfolk State