SSU VB off to 3-1 start

Staff Report

The Shawnee State volleyball program got the season off to a good start on Friday by going 2-0 at the Volley in the Mountains Classic at Montreat College (N.C.). The Bears defeated Taylor (Ind.) 3-0 and Talladega (Ala.) 3-0.

Shawnee State would start the season with a win by sweeping Taylor in a close match. SSU and Taylor would match point-for-point the whole way, with Shawnee State winning in extra points 26-24. The first set win would propel Shawnee State forward, with the Bears taking control of the match and putting Taylor away in three sets, winning the second set 25-20 and the third 25-15.

Tyanna Smith would get her Shawnee State career off to a good start in the first match, amassing eight kills to lead SSU. Carson Roney and Christina Shelton both chipped in with six kills. Deanna Smith had 24 assists for Shawnee State, while also leading the team with nine digs.

SSU’s second match of the day would be won in far more dominant fashion as SSU easily dispatched Talladega in three sets. Shawnee State would never be in danger in all three sets as the Bears would win the first set 25-17, set two 25-12, and set three 25-14.

Shelton and Roney again matched each other in kills, with both players getting 10 to lead the team. Tyanna Smith chipped in with eight kills. Deanna Smith had 33 assists, and libero Brianna Wiget had 25 digs.

The wins improve Shawnee State’s record to 2-0 to start the year. Taylor and Talladega both fell to 0-1 on the year.

Shawnee State will play two more games tomorrow as they wrap up the Volley in the Mountains Classic with No. 17 Jamestown (N.D.) at 1 p.m. and hosts Montreat (N.C.) at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, the Shawnee State volleyball program split the final two games of the Volley in the Mountains Classic on Saturday afternoon. The Bears fell to No. 17 Jamestown 3-0 in their first game of the afternoon before rebounding to sweep Montreat, the host, 3-0 in game two.

Jamestown showed their preseason top 25 class in game one as Shawnee State struggled to halt the U of J attack. SSU would fall in the first set 25-15, followed by the same score in set two. The Bears were better in the third set but were still dispatched by Jamestown, 25-18.

Christina Shelton led Shawnee State with 11 kills in game one. Emily McKibben added eight for SSU, while Deanna Smith had 25 assists. Brianna Wiget led the Bears with 11 digs, and Stacia Martin added 10.

SSU would rebound in game two, defeating the hosts Montreat 3-0. The Bears would battle with the Cavaliers in the first two sets, narrowly winning 25-21 and 25-23. Shawnee State would pick it up in the third set, dominating the hosts by hitting .419 in the set to win the match with a 25-16 score.

Tyanna Smith had an outstanding match, notching a team-high 12 kills and having a .474 hitting percentage, best on the team. Carson Roney added 11 kills, Shelton had seven, and McKibben had six. Deanna Smith had 38 assists and 11 digs, with Wiget getting a team-high 16 digs.

The split moves Shawnee State’s record to 3-1 on the year, a one-game improvement over 2016.

Shawnee State volleyball will get a week off before heading to the Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament, hosted by the University of Rio Grande.

Smith wins MSC Setter of the Week

On Monday afternoon, Deanna Smith was named Mid-South Conference Setter of the Week, according to MSC officials.

Smith played in all four matches at the Volley in the Mountains Classic, helping Shawnee State to a 3-1 record. Smith recorded a Mid-South Conference-high 38 assists against Montreat in SSU’s 3-0 win over the host school. Smith recorded 120 assists over the weekend, and added in 26 digs, including a team-high nine against Taylor (Ind.) on Friday.

The award is the first of Smith’s career and the first volleyball player of the week award won by a Shawnee State volleyball player in 2017. Shawnee State has not had a player win player of the week since Madison Smith won Defender of the Week on the week of November 2, 2015.

Life University’s Lizz Mann won MSC Attacker of the Week, while the Running Eagles’ Gabby Ferran won Defender of the Week.

Shawnee State volleyball returns to action on September 1-2 when they participate in Emileigh Cooper Memorial Tournament, hosted by the University of Rio Grande.

Staff Report