CARROLLTON, Ga. - The first foray into intercollegiate competition for the West Georgia volleyball squad in the 2019 preseason was a success for head coach Jon Moseley and the Wolves, as West Georgia fought back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 victory over the Emory Eagles at The Coliseum Thursday evening.
With every UWG player seeing action in the exhibition match, the stats were spread out among the entire team, but senior Madi Fleming nearly went the distance in the extended five-set match, playing nearly every point and picking up 37 assists in a match that was played to 25 in each set. Senior McKenna Wharton was her top target, leading the Wolves in the kills department with 13 kills and just three errors for a .345 hitting percentage in the contest.
The Wolves struggled offensively in the first two sets with a combined 12 kills while the Eagles built a 2-0 lead in the match. Each set was relatively close, however, with the Eagles winning 25-19 in the first and 25-20 in the second.
In the third set, West Georgia turned things around, delivering 13 kills with just five errors in the frame with a .342 hitting percentage en route to a 27-25 victory. The set was tied at 10-10 when the Wolves went on a 6-0 run to take a commanding lead, but Emory stormed right back with a 6-0 run to tie the set at 20-20. The Eagles turned that into a 9-1 run, taking a late 23-21 lead in the set.
The Wolves fired back with a 4-2 run to tie the third set at 25-25, then a Madi Fleming kill and an Emory attack error closed out the set to give the Wolves the win. In the fourth set, West Georgia trailed 19-14 before delivering on a 9-4 run to take a 25-23 victory and tie the match at 2-2. In the fifth and final set, West Georgia pushed ahead with an early 12-4 lead, then never looked back, taking a 25-18 victory to take the match.
Fleming had a 37-assist night, but also led the Wolves with 19 digs. Jaylen Daffin and Emilee Harris split time at libero in the match, with Daffin collecting 12 digs and Harris with 11. Harris and Autumn Burnette were solid on the serving line, delivering with four and three service aces, respectively.
West Georgia will open the 2019 regular season in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 6. The Wolves will take on Harding at 4 p.m. in the UAH Classic, then play Alabama Huntsville at 8 p.m.