Volleyball Storms Back in Season-Opening Win Over UNC-Asheville
DAVIDSON, N.C. — The Davidson Wildcats opened the 2021 fall season in strong fashion on Friday evening, bouncing back from a first set deficit to earn a 3-2 victory against UNC Asheville in Belk Arena.
Davidson, who won its season opener for the second-straight season, combined for a .241 attacking percentage as a team overall, and boasted an impressive .471 offensive outing in the deciding fifth set.
Seniors Hattie Rodriguez and Malia Kay led the way, tallying 20 and 16 kills, respectively, while Bella Brady and Kay locked down the defense with 15 digs apiece. Kay, who swung an impressive .342 on the night, also aided in two block assists, served two aces and recorded the second double-double of her career. On the net, Anela Davis shut down the Bulldogs with five block assists, a solo block and six kills. Setters Xuan Nguyen and Jessie Doyal ran the offense with a steady pace, combining for 57 total assists.
Asheville jumped out to an aggressive lead early on, forcing a Davidson timeout while trailing 17-11 which carried the visitors’ momentum to a first set victory. The Bulldogs continued their pursuit in the second, gaining an early 6-1 lead before Kay interrupted the surge with a kill from the outside. With the set tied up at 11-11, Julia Black provided back-to-back kills that handed the ‘Cats their first lead of the frame. From there, Rodriguez, Kay and Davis all provided key kills that boosted Davidson to a second set win.
Strong serving from Sola Omonije, Sophia Hritz and Doyal allowed the Wildcats to steal the third set, 25-19. After hitting .351 as a team in the third, freshman Isabella Perry stepped onto the scene for her college volleyball debut, and put the frame away with her first career kill in a Davidson uniform to earn the set point.
Despite a slow start for the ‘Cats in the fourth, which ultimately led to Asheville settling the set scores at 2-2, Davidson came out for the fifth set ready to dominate. With the deciding frame tied up at five points apiece, the Wildcats exploded into an unanswered, 10-0 run, which included seven kills and two service aces from Isabel Perry in her debut appearance.