A strong, late surge was not enough as Averett University advanced to the USA South volleyball finals with a 3-2 victory over Maryville College in Danville, Virginia on Friday evening.
The Scots dropped the first and third sets 25-15 and 25-14, but rallied from each deficit with 25-19 win in the second set and forced a final set with a thrilling 27-25 fourth set win. In the final period, the No. 1 seeded Cougars pulled away with a 15-11 final set victory.
Maryville's freshman setter Saidee McDaniel distributed 50 assists with senior Abrianna Jones (15 kills) and senior Julia Vineyard (13 kills) being her favorite targets. McDaniel's 50 assists are a career-high with the rookie accumulating her third 50 assist performance this season. Junior Nia Haller deposited an additional 10 kills. Defensively, Kaitlyn Flickinger paced the Scots with 23 digs. Vineyard and Kori Jacot were strong at the net with a combined nine block assists.
Averett was paced at the net by Hannah Shields and Brianna Williams each posting 18 kills. Madison Diaz added 10 kills for the tournament host. Keenan Marks distributed 55 assists while Emily Stanley and Shields returned 21 and 20 digs respectively.
The win advances Averett to 26-9 on the season with a spot in the league final on Saturday. Maryville closes their 2016 campaign with an 18-15 mark after the hard fought loss.