CARROLLTON, Ga. - The third time's the charm, is the phrase, and that applies with the West Georgia volleyball team on Saturday, as the Wolves advanced to the third Gulf South Conference Championship Game in school history with a 3-1 victory over second-seeded Alabama Huntsville at the UWF Field House in Pensacola, Fla.
This was the third meeting between the third-seeded Wolves and the Chargers this season, with UAH taking the first two meetings by a 3-1 score. The Wolves took a 2-0 advantage in Saturday's GSC semifinal, then finished things off in the fourth set with a 25-20 victory to advance to Sunday's GSC Championship Game against top-seed and host West Florida. Sunday's match will be a 2 p.m. in Pensacola between the Wolves and the Argos.
First Set - Wolves 25, Chargers 22
The two teams battled early with West Georgia taking a three-point lead twice through the first 11 points of the match. The Wolves led at that point 11-8, only to have UAH fire right back with three consecutive points for a tie in the opening set. The Wolves held the upper hand for much of the first set, holding an 18-16 advantage. The Wolves continued that run to five-straight points, taking a 21-16 lead on a kill from Autumn Burnette. UAH pushed the Wolves late in the set, but a kill from McKenna Wharton on set point pushed UWG to a 25-22 victory.
Carrington Terrell and Tierra White led the Wolves with four kills each in the opening set and Terrell led the way with a pair of blocks.
Second Set - Wolves 25, Chargers 18
West Georgia held a two-point lead for the bulk of the first nine points of the match, but five consecutive points from UAH gave the Chargers a 12-9 lead before White closed a long rally with a kill to stop the run. The Wolves then reeled off three-straight points and a block from Burnette and Terrell tied the set at 12-12. The Wolves took a two-point lead at 16-14, then went on a 5-1 run, taking a 20-15 lead, needing just five points to take a 2-0 lead in the match. On the final point, a block from Burnette and White gave the Wolves the point and the lead in the match.
Third Set - Chargers 25, Wolves 18
UAH came out swinging in the third set, taking a 3-0 lead early in the set, but the Wolves came firing right back with a 5-1 run to take a 5-4 lead. The drama increased in the third set, as the Chargers went on a 6-2 run to win the race to 10 and take a 10-7 lead. The Chargers stayed in front for the bulk of the set, finishing off their first win of the match with a 25-18 score.
Fourth Set - Wolves 25, Chargers 20
West Georgia took out their frustrations from the third set loss early on the Chargers, racing to a 14-7 lead in the fourth set. That was part of an 8-1 run that ultimately gave the Wolves a commanding 19-7 advantage in the set. The Wolves continued to push forward and hold off a hard-charging UAH squad, taking the victory on the 19th kill of the game from White.