Charleston, S.C. – Keyed by a pair of double-digit dig performances by Lauren Hutchinson and Michaela Reesor, visiting Southern Conference foe Samford completed a three-game sweep of The Citadel by scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-17 in Saturday action at McAlister Field House.
Despite six kills by Amanda Rudnik and five off the hand of Rachael Farrell, The Citadel's offense was unable to find any rhythm as the Cadets posted 20 team kills. Defensively, Erin Bucherl was the bright spot with 13 digs, while the freshman setter tandem of Mikaela Tracy and Rachel Keefer handed out nine assists each. The Citadel falls to 4-19 overall and 0-7 in SoCon play.
The duo of Hutchinson (13 kills) and Reesor (11 kills) led the way for a Samford unit that converted 48 kills in 112 attempts (.250 hitting percentage). Reesor posted a double-double with 11 digs defensively, while Alexis Bauer (18 digs) and Chelsi Carter (14 digs) anchored the Samford defensive effort. Casey Garvey dished out 41 assists as Samford improved to 15-8 overall, 7-1 SoCon.
A pair of Farrell kills gave The Citadel a 7-6 advantage in the early going, but Samford responded with an 9-1 run, keyed by three Reesor kills, to take a 15-8 lead. The Citadel took advantage of a Carter service error to regain serve, allowing for a pair of Bucherl points, to move within 16-11 of the lead. A Samford unforced error teamed with a Farrell kill narrowed the margin to four, 17-13, but three Garvey kills and two from Carter proved to be the difference in the 25-17 victory.
The Samford offense continued to click on all cylinders in the early stages of the second set, assuming a 6-1 lead behind two Hutchinson strikes. An unforced error opened the door for a three point Citadel run, with Maxwell in serve, as the Cadets converted kills by Rudnik and Lauren Hurt. The lead bounced between two and five points, in favor of Samford, before a series of kills by Carter and Katie Murphy made for a 20-12 advantage. A Rachael Farrell kill down the stretch proved to be the final Citadel point as Samford completed the 25-13 win.
Two kills by Rudnik and one each from Farrell and Ise d'Angelo was The Citadel's offense as Samford established an early 9-4 lead in the third set. The Samford lead reached as many as eight points, 14-6, before five errors in a six point span made for a 15-11 contest. Samford regained its offensive rhythm and took advantage of kills by Erika Devaughn and Reesor to make for a 22-16 advantage. A d'Angelo kill was the final Citadel point as Samford completed the three-game sweep with a 25-17 score.
The Citadel completes its six-match home stand at McAlister Field House on Sunday when the Dogs play host to Chattanooga on Sunday at 3 p.m. For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.