LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Day one of the 2015 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament is complete with six teams taking the court today. Conference co-champion Xavier received a first round bye and does not open play until tomorrow’s first semifinal at 10:00 AM.
MATCH 1 – (2) SUNO vs (5) Tougaloo
Conference co-champion Southern University at New Orleans faced off against fifth-seeded Tougaloo in the tournament’s opening match. SUNO was 2-0 against the Lady Bulldogs in the regular season.
The Lady Knights scored a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-21) victory to advance to the tournament semifinals. SUNO outhit Tougaloo .287 to .189 in the match.
SUNO was led by GCAC Attacker of the Year Shannon Jones with 14 kills with Milica Golubovic adding 13. GCAC Player of the Year Ana Privrat finished the match with 12 digs and Freshman of the Year Marija Stojijkovic had 30 assists.
The Lady Bulldogs got five kills apiece from Alexandria Douglas and Chassidy Harris. Kayla Cole added nine digs and Mariah Prince posted 14 assists.
SUNO advances to face Edward Waters in tomorrow’s second semifinal at 12:00 PM.
MATCH 2 – (3) Dillard vs (6) Talladega
Talladega College has gone 7-19 against GCAC opponents the last two seasons, but they seem to come alive in tournament play. For the second consecutive season the Lady Tornadoes pulled off an upset of a higher seed in the opening round of the tournament. Last season Philander Smith was the victim, this season it was Dillard.
It was five grueling sets with Talladega coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two sets and the match.
Dillard dominated the opening set by a score of 25-11, with Talladega tying the match with a 25-21 win in the second. Dillard looked like it had momentum on its side after comfortably winning the third set 25-18, but the Lady Bleu Devils faied to put Talladega away and dropped the fourth set 25-22. Dillard seemed broken in the fifth set as the Lady Tornadoes ran away with the set 15-7.
Dillard outhit Talladega .226 to .177 and had 53 digs to the Lady Tornadoes’ 51. However, Talladega had the advantage in kills (53-50) and assists (43-41).
All-GCAC First Team selection Carla Novaes had an NAIA season-high 39 kills and 10 digs for the Lady Tornadoes. Briel Dawson (13) and Tanaria Rounds (12) also posted double figure digs. Gabrielle Bailey had a career-high 33 assists.
The Lady Bleu Devils got 18 kills from Ty Howard. Demetria Horton added 15 digs and Astasia Williams had 18 assists in her final match for Dillard.
Talladega advances to face top-seeded Xavier tomorrow at 10:00 AM.
MATCH 3 – (4) Philander Smith vs (7) Edward Waters
The day’s final game featured the host Philander Smith Lady Panthers taking on Edward Waters. Edward Waters pulled off the second upset of the day in defeating PSC 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 14-25, 25-23).
The win was just the second of the season for the Lady Tigers against GCAC opponents.
Edward Waters jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Philander Smith rebounded to take the third set.
Philander Smith held the advantage in kills (44-42), attack percentage (.211-.209), and assists (39-36), but couldn’t put enough stretches of solid volleyball to get the win.
Instead it is the Lady Tigers who will advance to the tournament semifinals where they will face No. 2 seed Southern University at New Orleans.
Kaylin Davison posted a double-double with 19 kills and 12 digs to lead Edward Waters. Ashlyn Pavlock had a game-high 25 assists.
Philander Smith was paced by Samantha Moore, who just missed out on a triple-double with 10 digs, 13 assists, and nine digs. Mariah Yarbrough had 16 digs and Kaelyn Clark had 19 assists for the Lady Panthers.
2015 GCAC Volleyball Tournament Scoreboard – Friday, Nov. 13
(2) SUNO defeats (5) Tougaloo, 3-0
(6) Talladega defeats (3) Dillard, 3-2
(7) Edward Waters defeats (4) Philanders Smith, 3-1
2015 GCAC Volleyball Tournament Schedule – Saturday, Nov. 14
(1) Xavier vs (6) Talladega – 10:00 AM
(2) SUNO vs (7) Edward Waters – 12:00 PM
2015 GCAC Volleyball Championship Final – Saturday, Nov. 14
Semifinal Winners – 3:00 PM