Citadel Spikers Rally For Five-Set Win Over S.C. State
Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel Volleyball team won the final two sets of the match to complete the five-set win over intrastate foe South Carolina State by scores of 23-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22 and 15-13. The front row trio of seniors Tatum Jestila (13 kills), Jessica Maas (10 kills) and Blaine McAllister (10 kills) proved to be the difference as the Bulldogs won their second five-set match of the season.
Maas and Jestila became just the second set of Bulldog teammates to notch a double-double in the same match this season, by finishing with 15 and 10 digs respectively. Teammate Kathryn Johnston led the Cadets with 17 digs, while freshman Erin Bucherl tallied 13. The Bulldogs finished with a 9-8 edge in blocks behind four assisted blocks each from Kaona Mercer and Jessica Maxwell. Bucherl and Meredith Mutispaugh shared the team-high with 21 assists. The Citadel finished with a .232 hitting percentage, improving to 7-23 overall.
S.C. State, who was looking to avenge an earlier loss to The Citadel, was led by Jarne Gleaton's 27-kill, 14-dig performance. Gleaton was joined up front by Shabree Roberson (16 kills) and Desire Waller (14 kills). Roberson and Waller were integral in the block attack by S.C. State, finishing with six and five assisted blocks respectively. Melissa Robinson sparked SCSU defensively with 20 digs, along with Roberson (12 digs) and Gleaton. Bria Brimmer dished out a match-high 55 assists for the visiting Bulldogs. South Carolina State falls to 11-21 overall following the loss.
After surrendering the final two points in a 25-23 opening set, The Citadel rallied in the second with 10 of the first 17 points. The game reached a 12-12 tie before a Maas kill gave the Bulldogs a lead that they would not relinquish. Two kills each by Maas and McAllister, combined with five unforced errors allowed the Cadets to knot the match at 1-1 with a 25-18 win.
Waller and Gleaton combined for 10 kills in the third set, allowing S.C. State to emerge victorious 25-20. The Citadel jumped out to an early fourth set lead, 13-7, before a series of kills by Roberson and Gleaton tied the score at 18-18. Kills by Maas, McAllister and Rachael Farrell gave the Bulldogs a two-point advantage, 21-19. The Cadets tallied four of the next seven points, led by a pair of Mercer kills, for the 25-22 win.
Mercer continued her solid play into the decisive fifth set, recording a team-best three kills. Trailing 13-12 in the waning stages of the game, Mercer drove a kill past the S.C. State defense to send the game to its seventh tie. From there, Jestila used her service game to forced back-to-back attack errors and the 15-13 triumph.
The Citadel returns to action this weekend when host their final matches of the season against Furman and Wofford. The Paladins come to McAlister Field House on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., followed by a Sunday matinee game against Wofford, also set for 2 p.m.
Game statistics and a game recap will be available immediately following the match. For more information on Bulldog Volleyball or The Citadel Athletics, visit the website.