RICHMOND, Ind. (Sept. 20, 2019) – Milligan College volleyball finished day one of the IU East Red Wolf Tournament with a split of their two matches on Friday. In the first match the Buffs defeated Cincinnati Christian in five sets (25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 15-13). Milligan then fell to Judson in four sets (20-25, 18-25, 25-18, 22-25).
First match recap
The Buffs outkilled Cincinnati Christian in both the first and second sets and took advantage of Eagle errors to win the first two sets of the match. The Eagles had the lead up until the score was 9-9 in the first set but back-to-back kills by Carley Gregory gave the Buffs the lead which they would hold onto for the rest of the set.
The second set went back and forth, coming down to the final rallies to determine Milligan the winner. Cincinnati Christian evened the score at 23-23, but a kill by Elise Gregory and an Eagles attack error gave Milligan the two points that they needed to win the second set.
Cincinnati Christian held on to the lead the entire third set and nearly all of the fourth set. Milligan was on the board first in the fourth set with a 2-0 lead before Cincinnati Christian regained the lead by a Brianna Howard kill. Milligan and Cincinnati Christian both had 14 kills in the fourth set. However, Milligan had seven attacking errors, and Cincinnati Christian had three.
In the final frame Milligan came out on top and did not lose the lead the entire set. The Eagles tied the game up at 11-11 and again at 12-12 but a kill by C. Gregory, and two kills by Abby Falcone gave Milligan the win.
Kellee Geren recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 51 assists and 20 digs. Layla Grant led the defensive efforts with 25 digs, Cameron McConnell recorded 18, and Ashelyn Vandergriff had 14 digs. For the Buffs offensive front, E. Gregory and C. Gregory each recorded a match high of 16 kills. Falcone had 10 kills, and Geren had seven kills of her own.
Second match recap
After falling to Judson in the first two sets, Milligan bounced back in the third set to pick up a set win to avoid an Eagle sweep.
Milligan was down by nine at one point in the third set but the Buffs went on a 19-1 run to defeat the Eagles. Grant recorded two service aces, E. Gregory recorded three kills, and Julie Dockery recorded two kills during the run. There were six attack errors by Judson during the run.
The Buffs and the Eagles battled it out in the fourth set with Milligan going on a 7-1 run when the score was 16-24, but it was not enough for the Buffs to win.
Geren recorded her sixth double-double with 28 assists and 11 digs. On the defensive front Grant had a match high of 16 digs, C. Gregory had 13 and Ashelyn Vandergriff had 12. E. Gregory led the offensive front with 11 kills and Dockery had the highest hitting percentage of the team with a .368, recording eight kills and only one error on 19 attack attempts.
Day two of the IU East tournament begins Saturday as the Buffs take on Saint Francis at 9 a.m. and then take on tournament host IU East at 3 p.m.