BOONE, N.C. — The William & Mary volleyball team opened their season in the Mountaineer Classic at Appalachian State, going 1-1 in the pair of matches. The Tribe ended their day with a 3-2 win over Tennessee Tech after dropping the first match to App State, 3-0.
A dominant defensive effort propelled the Tribe to force a fifth set against Tennessee Tech, winning set four by a 15-point margin. W&M secured the comeback victory with a 15-10 triumph in the decisive fifth set.
Head Coach Ryan Adams, who arrived at William & Mary ahead of this season, notched his first win at the helm of the Tribe volleyball squad.
Match 1 – App State
The Mountaineers won the first match of the day with a final score of 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19).
Freshman right side Katherine Arnason recorded two kills in the final set, earning the first two points of her collegiate career.
Match 2 – Tennessee Tech
The Tribe took their second match in five sets against Tennessee Tech, recording a 3-2 (18-25, 25-15, 18-25, 25-10, 15-10) come-from-behind win after trailing following the first and third sets.
W&M limited the Golden Eagles to 0% hitting over the final two sets. On the other side, the Tribe hit 25% over the final two, committing just four errors in those sets.
For the match, the Tribe totaled 13 blocks and recorded nine aces. Sophomore Olivia Esposito soared past her previous career high of five kills with nine, hitting 64.3% and led the team with eight blocks. Taylor Burrell topped W&M with 14 kills, while Callender just missed a double-double with nine kills and 14 digs. Sophomore libero Lindsay Kahren had a career-best 16 digs in the match.
A dominant display of defense forced the fifth set, as the Tribe allowed only 10 points in the fourth frame and forced Tennessee Tech into a negative hitting % (-0.074). A 7-0 scoring run featuring back-to-back aces from Burrell and a pair of blocks by Sabrina Malcolm and Arnason gave the Tribe a convincing 16-4 lead. W&M won the final four points of the set and closed it out on a Burrell kill, 25-10.
In the final set, Tennessee Tech led 8-6 at the midway point, but W&M answered with three-straight points to take a 9-8 lead thanks to kills from Arnason and Callender.
The match was even at 10, before the Tribe put the contest away with five-straight points. Callender capped the victory with a kill on match point to lift W&M to a 15-10 final set victory.
The Tribe will continue the Mountaineer Classic at 11 a.m. on Saturday against Bellarmine.