Bethany, WV – Fresh off of a dominant 3-1 home win over #1 seed Bethany College on Senior Night, the Geneva College Women’s Volleyball team came into Friday’s PAC semi-final tilt feeling that they had a legitimate shot at the conference title. After almost an entire week off due to a quarterfinal bye, #2 Geneva met #3 Thomas More in the night cap of the PAC semi-final double header at Bethany College. Unfortunately for the Golden Tornadoes, the week off seemed detrimental as they were out of sync all night while falling to the Saints 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-16).
Geneva struggled with consistency early on as they had 8 hitting errors in the first set alone. Because of these errors as well as defensive ineptitude, Geneva was unable to get any of their big hitters going in the first set. Ashley Davis, the squad’s offensive superstar had only three kills on eleven attempts in the first set but ended up leading the Tornadoes in kills with 11 in the match. A back and forth first set was eventually taken over by the Saints who went on a run to close out the first set 25-18.
Geneva came out strong with a 5-0 lead in the second set with the help of two aces by Deanna Briody. The Golden Tornadoes held the lead throughout most of the set with their largest lead at 18-10. However, the Saints would go on an 8-0 run to tie the set at 18 and stole all of the momentum that Geneva had worked hard to secure. Both teams traded points to a 24-24 score but Thomas More scored back-to-back crucial points to take game two 26-24.
With all of the momentum on their side, it seemed that the Saints could sense a win coming their way. Thomas More jumped out to an early lead and dominated throughout the third set on their way to a 25-16 set win and a 3-0 match sweep. What shaped up to be a promising weekend for Geneva proved to be a quick and painful defeat at the hands of the Saints.
Geneva was led offensively by Ashley Davis (11 kills and 7 digs) and Olivia Test (7 kills). Senior setter Deanna Briody led the Golden Tornadoes with 25 assists and 12 digs as sophomore Rachel Netherland contributed 5 kills and 11 digs in the Geneva loss.
Coach Curt Conser remarked after the game, “Our hitters were uncharacteristically error prone tonight. In addition, our ball control wasn’t good enough to set our hitters up the way we like to. Thomas More played a smart, mistake free, fast paced brand of volleyball that gave us fits all night. This clearly wasn’t our best night, but we will be back.”
Thomas More now moves on to play Bethany College in the PAC conference finals Saturday afternoon. For Geneva (22-10 overall), the Golden Tornadoes now hope to receive a bid to the NCCAA regional tournament.
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