MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Aug. 31, 2019) – Carley Gregory and Kellee Geren recorded their first double-doubles of the season, while Julia Codispoti recorded a total of 25 kills on the day to finish the second day of the Milligan College Mountain Madness tournament with two wins.
First match vs. University of Michigan-Dearborn
Milligan faced University of Michigan-Dearborn in the first game which went to four sets (25-14, 13-25, 25-16, 25-19). Codispoti led the team with 15 kills on 24 attempts and had a hitting percentage of .417. Elise Gregory followed behind her with nine kills on 13 attempts, having a hitting percentage of .615. Geren recorded a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs.
The Buffs came out strong in the first set, never allowing Dearborn to take the lead. Geren started the set with a 6-0 serving run. Dearborn jumped back quickly in the second set, taking the lead early and never giving it back to Milligan. Milligan returned the favor in the third and fourth sets, controlling the tempo of the sets the entire time.
Dearborn was led by Gina Giacomini who had 10 kills and Delaney Smith who had 13 digs.
Second match vs. Bethel
It was a back and forth match as it took five sets to determine a winner between Milligan (3-1) and Bethel (2-7).
Milligan's hitters continued their hot streak into game two. Julie Dockery recorded 17 kills, Codispoti had 10 kills and C. Gregory had 12 kills with 10 digs. Milligan's defenders also put up some big numbers in game two. Layla Grant had 33 digs, Ashleyn Vandergiff had 15, and Cameron McConnell had 11. Kellee Geren had 52 assists in game two, rounding out her total assist on the day with 92.
Bethel and Milligan battled it out in the first set resulting in a 28-26 victory for Bethel. Milligan got an early lead making it all the way to a six point lead, but Bethel fought back and forced the set to go past regulation ending. Milligan fought back in the second set and took advantage of the Bethel errors to take ahold of the lead and have a comfortable 25-15 win. Bethel had eight attack errors in the second set compared to Milligan's two.
Milligan carried the momentum from the second set over to the third, beating Bethel 25-23 before falling to them 19-25 in the fourth, forcing them into the fifth set. Milligan attacked quick, only giving up six points in the fifth set.
The Buffs finished the tournament 3-1, only losing to Keiser who went 4-0 in the tournament. Kellee Geren was selected to the all-tournament team, finishing the weekend with a total of 146 assists averaging 9.73 per set.
Coach Doneva Bays was very pleased with the team's outcome. "I feel like we got a lot of people in the lineup and it is going to take time to figure out our chemistry. This early in the season, we see some inconsistencies that we hope we can improve upon in the next few weeks," Bays says. "It's always our goal to win our home tournament, but we faced a really good team (Keiser). I am excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds."
Milligan opens up Appalachian Athletic Conference play on Thursday, Sept. 5, at Bryan College. They then head to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Music City Invitational which will be held Sept. 6-7. The Buffs will return home Tuesday, Sept. 10, for their first conference game at home against AAC newcomer, Kentucky Christian.