Volleyball’s Postseason Run Ends in Semifinal Loss to Drake
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson volleyball’s historic season came to an end on Sunday afternoon, falling 3-0 to the Drake Bulldogs in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship’s semifinal match.
The Wildcats end their record-setting season at 23-11 overall, after picking up three postseason victories for the first time in program history.
Overall, the Bulldogs swung .410 with 53 kills and held Davidson to a .268 attacking percentage, while Drake’s Taylor Oberpriller (16) and Mariana Rodrigues (21) combined for 37 of the Bulldogs’ kills.
For the Wildcats, Isabel Decker (12) and Sola Omonije (10) paced the Davidson offense, in addition to Kayla Davis’ .545 attacking percentage. Emma Slusser and Anela Davis provided three blocks apiece, and Bella Brady picked up 16 digs.
Drake controlled the match’s momentum from opening serve, swinging a match-best .438 in set one. While trailing 9-7, Jan Marie Duhaylungsod provided a kill for the ‘Cats in addition to a huge block from Kayla Davis and Omonije that settled the score at 9-all. After Anela Davis and Slusser kept the game tied at 14-all with a block combo, the Bulldogs rattled off a 5-1 run and pulled away 19-15. With a timeout, the Wildcats managed to rally with six points to come back within two, 23-21, before Drake put the set away for good with back-to-back kills and won it 25-21.
Set two proved to be a three-point battle throughout, as Davidson started off with a 5-2 lead thanks to two kills from Slusser. After a kill from Omonije put the Wildcats ahead 11-8, Drake tied things up at 14-14. Freshman Jackie Bardin came up big with three straight kills on the outside to keep the set tied at 18-all, before the Bulldogs responded with three points of their own to go ahead 23-21 and ultimately win the set, 25-22.
In set three, Drake got off to a 3-0 start and never looked back. The Wildcats took a slight lead, 8-7, after a kill from Bardin, but the Bulldogs bit right back and pulled ahead 12-9, regaining the lead for good.
The Bulldogs will advance to the NIVC finals and meet Boston College early next week.