BOONE, N.C. – App State volleyball dropped a pair of decisions to Bellarmine and Wake Forest on the final day of the Mountaineer Classic on Saturday.
Against Bellarmine (2-5), the Knights prevailed in five sets (20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 16-14).
Victoria Wilform paced the App State (3-6) offense with a season-best 14 kills, on a .247 hitting mark. Anna Kincaid added 12 kills on a .290 hitting mark and eight blocks (seven assists, one solo). Madison Baldridge also reached double figures in kills with 10. Lily Harvey added a career-high nine kills.
Sam Bickley and Sophie Cain each finished with 24 assists and eight digs. Emma Reilly tallied a match-high 21 digs.
In all, App State finished with 14 total blocks, a season-best, led by Kincaid’s eight. Baldridge tallied six (four assists, two solo) and Harvey and Wilform each had three block assists.
App State raced out to an early 16-8 lead in the opening set, thanks to a 4-0 run, capped off by a kill from Kincaid. Bellarmine pulled within three points at 22-19, but the Mountaineers won three of the final four points and a Kincaid kill gave the Black and Gold the opening frame by a 25-20 count.
Bellarmine jumped out to a big lead and took the second set 25-15 and followed that up with a 25-21 victory in Set 3.
In the fourth set, the Black and Gold scored four straight points to jump open a 12-7 edge. The Mountaineers never trailed and a kill from Wilform gave App State Set 4 25-22 to force a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Knights opened a 7-2 lead. App State battled back to knot the score at 10-10 off a service ace from Reilly. The Mountaineers scored the next two points, off of a kill from Caroline Reeder and Baldridge to take a 12-10 lead. App State held a 14-12 lead, but the Knights reeled off four straight points to take the set and clinch the victory.
Against Wake Forest (7-2), it was the Demon Deacons who prevailed 3-1 (25-14, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16).
Wilform paced App State with 11 kills. Lulu Ambrose, Baldridge and Harvey all tallied five kills. Cain finished with 18 assists and Bickley had 13.
On defense, Reilly tallied 14 digs and Alexis Hardison finished with 12.
The opening frame saw Wake Forest use an 8-0 run late to turn a two-point lead into a 10-point lead at 22-12. The Demon Deacons went on to win the frame 25-14.
In Set 2, App State broke a 13-13 tie with a kill from Tessa Hill. With the score tied at 16-16, Wake Forest closed the set on a 9-1 run to win the stanza 25-17 and take a 2-0 lead.
Set 3 saw the Demon Deacons jump out to a 13-9 edge, only to see the Mountaineers rally to tie the score at 14-14 on a kill from Ambrose. Wake Forest opened a 19-14 lead, but App State stormed back with six consecutive points to take a 20-19 lead. With the score knotted at 21-21, App State won the final four points, using kills from Hill, Ambrose and Wilform and a block assist from Ambrose and Harvey.
The fourth set saw Wake Forest break a 10-10 tie with a pair of points. App State tied the score at 13-13 on a Hardison service ace, but the Demon Deacons answered with the next two points. Wake Forest used a 8-0 run late in the set to clinch the set 25-16 and close out the match.
App State will return to action next weekend at the Pirate Invitational hosted by East Carolina. The Mountaineers will battle UTRGV on Friday at 11 a.m. and Gardner-Webb at 5 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday against the host Pirates.
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