Twice as Nice: Volleyball Downs Wake Forest in Second Round of NIVC
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – For the second-straight night, the Davidson volleyball team picked up a 3-2 victory at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, defeating Wake Forest on its home court in the second round of the postseason tournament.
The win marks the second postseason victory in program history for the ‘Cats, who are 22-10 this season and will advance to the third round of the tournament. Davidson’s third round match up is set to be played inside Belk Arena on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. against UTRGV.
In the victory, Isabel Decker had 18 kills and 12 digs; Emma Slusser closed with 14 kills and Jackie Bardin added 10 kills. Jessie Doyal added 32 assists to go with 10 digs, and Brady Bella finished with 14 digs. Additionally, Anela Davis returned for her first match since November 6, swinging .375 with eight kills and a match-best four blocks.
Overall, Davidson swung .333 and held the Demon Deacons to a .200 attacking percentage.
In the defining fifth set, the Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back blocks from Davis. Eventually, the ‘Cats led 10-8 after a Decker kill, but two quick points from the Deacs settled the score at 10-all and forced Davidson into a timeout.
Out of the break Slusser provided two kills to make it 13-all, while the Wildcats played chase and Wake Forest earned match point at 14-13. After forcing overtime, Slusser had one more kill left in her to give Davidson match point at 16-15, before Decker sealed the deal for good with one more strike on the outside to win the match.
En route to another program classic, Davidson dropped set one 25-22 to the Deacs. However, the Wildcats responded in the second with a 25-19 victory. In the frame, Davidson took its first lead at 9-7 with a solo stuff from Davis, and later pulled ahead with a right-side slam from Slusser to take a 12-10 advantage. Despite Wake tying the set at 17-all, Slusser struck twice more to break the tie and power the Wildcats to victory.
The ‘Cats pushed Wake Forest to the brink in set three, securing the 26-24 win and a 2-1 match lead, after going ahead 14-11 thanks to a kill and service ace from Bardin. While the Deacs tied it up with three-straight points, Decker and Slusser pressed Davidson to victory with a pair of kills and a Wake Forest attack error, before the home team responded with a 25-20 fourth set win.