Nov. 19, 2010

Courtesy of Montevallo

- The fifth-seeded University of Montevallo volleyball team (24-12) picked up its first NCAA Tournament victory over fourth-seeded Lincoln Memorial University (23-8), 3-1. The Falcons are in the midst of just their second NCAA Tournament appearance since joining the NCAA in 1996. The Falcons last NCAA Tournament match was at the end of the 2000 season and UM lost in the First Round 3-0 to Arkansas Tech. The Falcons were led this evening by freshman Taylor Chapman (Killen, Ala./Lexington) who recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. She also chipped in two blocks.

Redshirt-freshman Manyi Ati (Lawrenceville, Ga./Grayson) had 10 kills as well along with four blocks. Senior Rebecca Dowd (Dothan, Ala./Providence Christian School) added eight kills, eight digs and four blocks. Junior Rachel Wotitzky (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte) continues to shine in the libero role with 16 digs while junior setter Anna Garrison (LaVergne, Tenn./LaVergne) had 36 assists and nine digs. Freshman Michelle Carle (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements) added eight kills and a team-high .312 hitting percentage.

The Falcons jumped all over the Railsplitters in the first set leading almost the entire way as they won 25-15. The Falcons used an 11-2 run to take a 19-12 lead in the opening set. Chapman started it with a kill, while Dowd and Ati combined on a block to push the lead to seven. The Falcons took advantage of seven LMU errors in the flurry. Back-to-back kills from Carle pushed the lead to 21-12, while a block from Ati put Montevallo on top by 10. A block from Dowd and sophomore middle hitter Virginia Clay (Fort Collins, Colo./Poudre) capped the first set. Montevallo held LMU to a hitting percentage of -.135 in set one.

The Railsplitters turned the tables on the Falcons in the second frame, using a 10-0 run to take a commanding 18-5 lead. They went on to win 25-9.

LMU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the third set, getting a pair of kills from Ashley Knight to highlight the opening flurry. Montevallo battled back to tie the set at 11 on an Ati kill, then gained a 12-11 lead on an ace from Clay. The Railsplitters responded with a 6-1 run to take an 18-15 lead, getting a block from Blaire Fowler and a service ace to cap the spurt. A Fowler kill and Montevallo error gave the LMU a 22-18 lead. Montevallo answered with five straight points to take a 23-22 advantage on a block and a kill from Clay. The set was tied at 24 when an LMU service error gave the Falcons a 25-24 lead. Another Lincoln Memorial error gave the third set to Montevallo, 26-24.

A 4-0 run gave the Falcons a 16-12 lead in the fourth set, capped by a kill from Dowd. Another Dowd kill, along with an LMU error pushed the lead to five at 19-14. The Railsplitters fought back, getting kills from Fowler and Knight to cut the lead to three at 20-17. A kill from Chapman made it 23-19, while Ati made it 24-19 with a kill. Carle concluded the match with a kill.

The Falcons advance to their first NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Falcons will take on the winner of top-seed Wingate University versus eighth-seeded Lees-McRae tomorrow at 6:30 (CST). The match will be broadcast live on the internet.