DANVILLE, Va. -- The East second-seed Meredith College Avenging Angels fell 3-1 (12-25, 20-25, 25-20, 17-25) to the West Division top-seed Maryville Scots in Friday's first semifinal pairing of the USA South Volleyball Tournament. Down 2-0 MCVB won the third to force another frame, but the Scots outlasted the Angels for a win.
Undefeated in conference action, Maryville opened up the match with an early 6-2 lead, but Samantha Smith landed a pair of service aces to help pull the Angels back to even at six. But top offensive player Maggie Matthews kicked off a 7-2 rally to push the Scots back in front. MCVB scored just four more as Maryville pushed their way to a 1-0 match lead.
Meredith kept pace with West leader throughout the second frame, but Brianne Sidner helped the Scots shut down the Avenging Angels for a two-set advantage.
The veteran MCVB squad continued to battle, and Caroline Corey landed a quick attack to open the third stanza. Emily Skoglund delivered a service winner, and Hailey Long put down a quick hitter to give the Angels a 3-0 third set lead. MVC scored the next four but followed with four unforced errors. Lauren Grodi delivered a pair of assists to Corey and Ally Copenhaver, and Kenzie Moore found a gap for a 10-8 lead.
Copenhaver hit another, and Cathy Delano paired with Long for a stuff. Copenhaver blocked one on her own to spread the gap to four. The Scots refused to back down, but MCVB maintained the lead. Bailey Lucas found Corey for three more points down the stretch to push the match to a fourth and final frame.
The Avenging Angels lost steam early in the next set, as MVC put together a 12-2 rally on their way to the win. Lauren Phillips served Meredith on a 5-0 run to pull the Avenging Angels to within four at 19-15, but Maryville closed out the set.
Corey led the Angels with 13 kills, and Copenhaver recorded eight. Long tallied seven from the right pin, grabbing 11 digs, and Moore notched three kills with four blocks. Phillips picked up a match-high 19 digs, and Lucas led MCVB with 18 assists, adding nine digs. Grodi dished out nine assists, and Skoglund finished with seven digs.
MVC's Matthews led all with 18 kills and Sidner posted 11.
The Scots advance to Saturday's USA South Championship pairing versus the winner of the tournament's second semifinal contest between Averett and Huntingdon.
USA South Conference Volleyball Tournament