HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Jon Moseley era officially began in a big way on Friday as the Wolves swept their matches on opening day, taking down LeMoyne-Owen in straight sets in the season opener before coming back with a 3-1 win over Alabama Huntsville in non-conference play in the night cap.
Three Wolves were error-free and West Georgia hit a blistering .434 against LeMoyne-Owen in the 2018 UWG volleyball season opener on Friday afternoon. The Wolves took the first match of the year in straight sets, winning 3-0.
Junior McKenna Wharton, sophomore Madeline Rexrode, and freshman Kaylyn Buchanan combined for 20 kills in 31 attempts in the second match of the day at the UAH Classic in Huntsville, Ala. As a team, the Wolves committed just six hitting errors in the match, led by junior setter Madi Fleming and freshman setter Sam Jones, who had 16 and 14 assists, collectively.
The Wolves opened the season with a 14-2 run in the opening set, fueled by the service game of junior Autumn Burnette, who served 11-straight points during that run. For the day, Burnette was stellar on the service line, collecting five of West Georgia's eight service aces. The Wolves continued to push in the set, finishing the Magicians off with a 25-7 victory.
A LeMoyne-Owen service error to open the second set put freshman Emilee Harris on serve for the Wolves, and the young hitter did not disappoint, pushing West Georgia to a quick 10-0 lead in the frame. UWG closed out the first set with a 15-5 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-5 victory. As a team, the Wolves had five service aces in the second set.
The third and final set opened with West Georgia taking an early 11-5 lead in the frame, then the Wolves closed out the match with a 25-12 victory to move to 1-0 in the Jon Moseley era.
Wharton led the attack with nine kills in the match, followed by Rexrode with six kills, and Buchanan with five. Senior Anna Metzler had six digs to lead the back line defense while sophomore Niah Bruce had the only block in the contest for the Wolves.
It was McKenna Wharton and Niah Bruce who powered West Georgia through the Alabama Huntsville Chargers in game two of opening day in Huntsville. Wharton led the way with 15 kills in four sets while Bruce was second with 10, but led the way with a red-hot hitting percentage of .529.
In the opening set it was Bruce and Emilee Harris who led the offense with a combined eight kills. For Bruce, she had four kills in five attempts in the opening set to lead a UWG offense that hit just .146 to start the match. UAH made it close, cutting what was a 24-17 UWG lead to 24-22, but McKenna Wharton provided the final blow in the first set to put UWG up.
UAH made adjustments and came back in the second set with a commanding 25-15 victory, hitting .355 in the second set, evening the match at 1-1.
West Georgia never looked back from that point, jumping back up with a 25-13 pounding in the second set on the back of Wharton's seven kills. It was a back-and-forth affair eraly in the match until a UWG run extended their lead to nine, forcing a UAH timeout. The Wolves took each of the last three points with Wharton once again providing the set point.
Once again in the fourth set, the Wolves jumped out to the lead, but the Chargers fought back, turning a 20-15 West Georgia lead into a one-point, 25-24 Wolves advantage, before the Wolves ended it forcing a Charger error.
Along with Wharton and Bruce's offensive production, Emilee Harris chipped in with nine kills. Madi Fleming was instrumental in the success of UWG's offense, racking up 30 assists in the game two win.
On defense, Devon Dickey led with 15 digs, while West Georgia got 14 from Harris and 13 from Wharton. At the net, Bruce led with five blocks.
The Wolves return to the court tomorrow to wrap up the UAH Tournament, taking on Ouachita Baptist in a 12 p.m. contest from Spragins Hall in Huntsville, Alabama.