The Maryville College Volleyball squad fought off an early set loss to fight their way back to a 3-1 victory over NAIA opponent Tennessee Wesleyan University.
The Scots opened their season with a 25-14 first-set loss to the Bulldogs, not having a successful set attacking at the net with eight errors. The Scots managed a six point run late to close the gap 21-14, but four straight points by the Bulldogs ended Maryville's threat.
Head Coach Kandis Schram said it took her squad a while to settle in.
"Season openers, combined with it being a home opener just evokes so much emotion," she said. "We were able to put a lot of freshmen in and give them some playing time, and it took us a little bit of time to get them to calm down."
The Scots fought back in the second set, clawing point-for-point with Tennessee Wesleyan, extending the period to a 26-26 score. Both team swapped points for a 27-27 score, before a block by Kori Jacot was followed by a block-assist by Jacot and Abrianna Jones to end the set, 29-27.
Maryville forced their way through the third set with a close 25-21 score, before taking the fourth set, 25-18.
For Schram, the improvement was their goal.
"When we could control the ball, I was really proud of the way we were able to do something with it," the head coach said. "I think the key part was for us to get better each set. For that, I'm going to say we did really well. There were some moments where we let a couple runs get in our way. That is unfortunate, but we will keep fighting."
Maryville saw two players cross double-digit kils with senior Julia Vineyard adding 12. Freshman Brianne Sidner tallied 11 in her first collegiate match, while fellow freshman Kelly Wandell and Jones, a senior, tallied seven each.
Taylor Youell finished the night with a double-double 20 assists and 10 digs to go with two service aces. Madison Wilkerson had 17 assists, while Nia Haller added 18 digs to go with an incredible four service aces. Defensive specialist Kaitlyn Flickinger had 17 digs.
Jacot finished the night with four blocks to go with three kills, while Vineyard added three blocks.
For Tennessee Wesleyan, it was Sundara Chinn who had 14 kills to go with seven digs. Sierra Ingraham had 11 kills, while Alexan Crittenden and Tia Madden each tallied a double-double. Crittenden had 14 digs and 16 assists, while Madded had 19 assists and 11 digs. Hailey Gibson led the Bulldogs with 20 digs.
Maryville moves to 1-0 on the season. The Scots will travel to Rome, Ga. for the Berry College Invitational. They host Washington & Lee University at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, before playing Millsaps College (10:30 a.m.) and Berry College (3:30 p.m.) on Saturday.