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Mountaineers Fall to Winthrop in Midweek Match


Courtney Rhein tallied a match-high 19 digs in Tuesday’s loss to Winthrop. The senior libero is just four digs shy of taking over third place in the App State record book for career digs. Photo courtesy of Meghan Gay and Appalachian Sports Information

Aug. 29, 2012. ROCK HILL, S.C. – Appalachian State University volleyball dropped its fourth-straight match in a 3-0 loss to Winthrop on Tuesday at Winthrop Coliseum. 

The Mountaineers (0-3) kept the match close throughout and had a chance to take the second set from the Eagles (3-1) but were unable to notch the set-winning point as they fell by scores of 25-23, 27-25 and 25-23.

App State jumped out to an early lead and stayed ahead for nearly the entire first set, building a lead of 16-12 before Winthrop attempted to stop the momentum with a timeout. The Eagles’ strategy worked perfectly as they reeled off a 4-2 run out of the break to pull within two points (18-16) before taking the lead for with five straight points to snag a 21-19 lead late in the set.

The Apps battled back to tie the first set at 21-21, but Winthrop was able to close things out by scoring three of the final five points en route to a 25-23 set victory. 

Winthrop’s momentum carried over early into the second set as it built an 11-3 lead before Appalachian battled its way back to tie things at 23-23 late thanks to an 8-2 run that featured two kills and a block from Lindsey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East). 

The Mountaineers would lead by one with two chances to close the set out in the late stages, but the Eagles rallied back for a 27-25 second-set victory an a 2-0 lead.

Appalachian’s early third-set lead was short-lived as Winthrop took control of the set and the match with an 11-2 run midway through the deciding set. The Mountaineers trailed by as many as eight points (21-13) before battling back to pull within one (24-23) with a furious 5-0 rally, but the Eagles held on for their second-straight win. 

Sauls led all players with 14 kills on the night while recording six digs and four block assists while Jacqui Spurgeon (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) chipped in with nine kills and five digs. 

Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) tallied seven kills and five digs while Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) notched a double-double with 27 assists and 12 digs. Courtney Rhein (York, Pa./Eastern York) notched a match-high 19 digs.

Winthrop did not have a player record more than nine kills in the match but the Eagles held App State to an attack percentage of just .115 and finished with more blocks.

Appalachian State returns to action this weekend when it takes part in the 2012 Lipscomb Invitational. The Mountaineers will face Lipscomb at 12:30 p.m. on Friday before taking on Houston at 5 p.m. the same day. App State finishes the weekend against Missouri at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.