CARROLLTON, Ga. - The strong hitting game that has been the hallmark of wins early in the 2019 UWG volleyball season was on full display Thursday evening at The Coliseum as the Wolves took down the Shorter Hawks 3-1 in Gulf South Conference.
The win was the first for Jon Moseley over the Hawks since he took the reigns of the West Georgia volleyball program ahead of the 2018 season. Shorter won the only meeting last year, taking down the Wolves 3-0 in Rome. A huge change for the 2019 UWG squad is the addition of Tierra White, Hannah Flack, and Carrington Terrell. That trio combined with seniors Madi Fleming and McKenna Wharton on Thursday evening to hit .215 as a team to move West Georgia to 6-6 on the year and 2-0 in GSC play.
The two teams battled back-and-forth for the first 10 points before the Hawks took a three-point lead. Shorter held the score there until the score was 19-17. White blasted a big shot from the middle to put Fleming on serve. The senior Columbus native promptly served three consecutive points to give the Wolves a 21-19 advantage. Shorter tied it up again, but the Wolves pressed forward and an ace from sophomore libero Emilee Harris finished the set at 25-23 for a 1-0 UWG lead. White and Terrell combined for nine kills and just two errors in the opening set to lead the offensive.
Shorter came back in the second set, tying the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 victory. The Hawks jumped out quickly to an 18-8 advantage before West Georgia began a furious comeback. The Wolves cut the lead to 20-13, then shaved off another two points off of the lead before the end of the set to hold back the momentum swing heading into the third set.
The momentum swing worked, as the Wolves built a quick 4-1 lead and extended that to 16-9 midway through the third set. Shorter made things close late in the set, cutting the UWG lead to two at 23-21 before a big kill from JoJo Webb put the Wolves on set point. An attack error from the Hawks on the final point gave the Wolves the 25-21 victory and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Wharton and Fleming served the Wolves to a 7-1 advantage early in the fourth set and the Wolves never looked back, finishing off the match with a 25-17 victory and a 3-1 win.
White led all hitters with 14 kills in the match. She and Fleming, the Columbus connection in the middle, powered the UWG offense to a .215 hitting percentage. Fleming delivered on 35 assists in the match. Flack had eight kiils, Terrell added seven and Wharton had six on the night. Harris and Webb were the leaders on the back line, with Harris picking up 21 digs and Webb with 13.
A record in The Coliseum fell on Thursday night, as White had 10 blocks in the match. She tied the record for solo blocks with four (Mary K. Krueger, 9/7/10), and set the record for total blocks with 10. Flack and Terrell also had a solid night at the net with six blocks each.
West Georgia will be back in action on Saturday at Valdosta State, taking on the Blazers at 1 p.m.