Farrell, Rudnik Key in The Citadel’s Win Over Claflin
Charleston. S.C. – The Citadel Volleyball team completed this weekend's matches at the S.C. Tournament with a 25-10, 25-19, 25-19 sweep of Claflin on Saturday afternoon. The combination of Rachael Farrell (10 kills, five digs) and Amanda Rudnik (nine digs, eight kills) were instrumental in victory. The Bulldogs improve to 4-1 on the season and in the process set the mark for the best five-match start in program history.
Junior Kaona Mercer, who brought home all-tournament honors, was also key for The Citadel's offensive attack with five kills. She teammed with Ise d'Angelo (six kills) to give the Cadets a 38-24 edge in team kills. Defensive specialist Emily Dalton continued her solid play this season, finishing with eight digs. Alexa Dahlstrom handed out a match-high 34 kills, as the Dogs earned their second sweep in as many weekends.
"All around it was a very good weekend for us," said head coach Amir Khaledi. "We got a chance to work on some of the things that can help us against teams in the coming weeks with our rotation. I was really impressed with the play of our freshmen, Ise d'Angelo and Amanda Rudnik. They had a positive showing against some very good competition. Our 4-1 record shows that we are obviously doing things well and we just have to continue to show improvement."
Khaledi's team opened the match strong, jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a pair of kills from Kathryn Johnston. A kill by Johnston stretched The Citadel lead to eight, before three straight service aces by Dalton put the game out of reach, 20-8. Back-to-back kills by Farrell and Cassie Uribe, along with a Dahlstrom service ace, completed the opening set win, 25-10.
Led by Rudnik's five kills, The Citadel continued its dominance in the second set. The two teams battled through five ties over the first 20 points before a service error by Claflin's Courtney Person opened the door for three straight Bulldog points. Leading by three, kills by Rudnik and Mercer, along with a service ace by d'Angelo, allowed the Dogs to maintain their edge. With a second set win in the balance, a series of kills by d'Angelo and Farrell helped complete the 25-19 victory.
The third set was witness to the same back-and-forth battle as that of the second, as the two teams endured six ties to reach an 11-11 score. Rudnik forced an Claflin attack error and following a kill by d'Angelo The Citadel was again in the lead. With the game knotted at 13-13, the Dogs responded with two kills each from d'Angelo, Farrell and Rudnik down the stretch to complete the sweep, 25-19.
The Citadel returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 7 when the team heads to N.C. A&T for a meeting with the Aggies. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.