Bucs Split on Opening Day at Emory

Bucs Split on Opening Day at Emory

ATLANTA, Ga. – Whitworth University split matches on the opening day of the Emory University National Tournament on Friday.  The Pirates fell to 25th-ranked Berry College in three sets in the first match, but defeated Transylvania University 3-1 in the nightcap.

Lauren Budde and Jessica Schmautz totaled 18 kills apiece on Friday as Whitworth improved to 5-1.  The Pirates will conclude its trip to the southeast with three matches on Saturday.

The Berry College Vikings (3-1), a final 16 qualifier in the NCAA Div. III tournament last fall, were too powerful for the Bucs in the opener.  Berry hit .364 as a team, highest by a Pirate opponent this season, in a 25-16, 25-11, 25-15 victory.  Five different Vikings had at least five kills, and none had more than seven in the evenly-distributed attack.  Budde led Whitworth with eight kills and only one error in 14 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage.  Schmautz added six kills. 

The Pirates dropped the opening set to Transylvania, but rallied to win 23-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-20.  Schmautz led Whitworth with 12 kills and added 15 digs.  Budde and Emiko Kahler had 10 kills each while Erin White dished 39 assists.  Madison Douglas was a force in the middle with two solo blocks and seven block assists.

The match may have been determined in the fifth set.  Whitworth led 22-17 after Addy Woolery's service ace.  But the Pioneers rallied to tie the match 24-24.  The teams traded points before a Transy attack error and Schmautz's kill ended the set in the Pirates' favor.  The fourth set was deadlocked 20-20 before Whitworth scored the final five points to claim the win.