Magic Continues as Volleyball Sweeps Vaqueros in NIVC Quarterfinals
DAVIDSON, N.C. — A three-set match was all it took for the Davidson volleyball program to keep its magical postseason run going on Thursday night, as the ‘Cats downed the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 3-0 from inside Belk Arena in the NIVC’s Quarterfinals.
With the win, the ‘Cats improve to 23-10, matching the win total from the 2002 season when Davidson ended the year at 23-11.
Overall, the Wildcats swung .252, led by Anela Davis’ .667 efficiency, and held the Vaqueros to a .165 attacking percentage. Libero Bella Brady picked up 24 digs while Isabel Decker recorded 14 kills. Jan Marie Duhaylungsod and Jessie Doyal paced the offense with 16 and 19 assists, respectively, and Emma Slusser and Davis each notched nine kills.
UTRGV jumped out strong to start off the match, leading the ‘Cats through the majority of the first set. After falling behind 9-5, Slusser provided a kill to halt the Vaqueros’ run before later helping Davidson tie the set at 13-all. Duhaylungsod proved to be the hero in the first however, as the rookie served three aces in a four-point service run, allowing the Wildcats to pull away to a 21-17 advantage. Despite UTRGV tying things back up at 22-22, Slusser had another slam to secure the 26-24, set-one victory.
In the second, Davidson fell behind early again, and trailed by three throughout the first half of the frame. Finally, kills from Davis, Slusser and Decker turned the tide and tied the set at 14-all, before Brady led the Wildcats on a 7-0 run to put the ‘Cats ahead, 18-14. The Vaqueros refused to go down easy however, going on a 5-0 run of their own to pull back in front at 19-18, and eventually held Davidson at a 24-22 set point. With backs against the wall, Davis took control and crushed three kills from the middle, while Brady topped things off with an ace, to come back and win set two for the Wildcats, 27-25.
The third and final set proved to be Davidson’s best play yet, as the ‘Cats swung an outstanding .412 at the net, connecting on 15 kills from 32 swings. On the night, the Wildcats served eight aces, four of which came from Brady and another three from Duhaylungsod.
The Wildcats will host the NIVC’s semifinals on Sunday, Dec. 11 from inside Belk Arena. Davidson is set to take on the Drake Bulldogs at 1 p.m.