CARROLLTON, Ga. - After eight matches over the first two weekends of the 2019 season, the West Georgia Wolves will finally get a chance to play in front of a home crowd at The Coliseum, playing host to the Clark Atlanta Panthers on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
West Georgia comes into the week with a 3-5 record overall on the year after a 1-3 weekend at the Flagler Classic this past weekend. The Wolves split the first day, falling to Flagler before blasting Lees-McRae 3-0. On the final day of action in St. Augustine, Fla., the Wolves played tough against Walsh and Embry-Riddle, falling 3-1 in both matches.
The tournament season is over for the most part for the Wolves, as West Georgia will only play one more tournament this season. That will come on October 18-19, as the Wolves take on three teams from the Sunshine State Conference. The pairings for the three matches on that weekend will be announced on the Sunday before the tournament.
Senior setter Madi Fleming had a milestone this past weekend, as against Flagler the Columbus native became just the fifth setter in school history to surpass 2,000 career assists. Next on the list is Micque Parker, who played at UWG from 2006-2007 with 2,728 assists. Fleming comes into the week with 2,123 assists and had 131 assists last weekend.
In the win over Lees-McRae last weekend, Fleming’s distribution was solid, as the Wolves hit .258 as a team without a single player picking up double-digit kills. JoJo Webb was the top hitter in the contest with eight kills, followed by freshman Tierra White with seven and freshman Carrington Terrell with six.
Freshman middle blocker Tierra White made a splash in her first weekend of collegiate volleyball two weeks ago in Huntsville, Alabama, leading the Wolves with 41 total kills, averaging 3.13 kills per set over the four matches. She also had 13 blocks on the weekend, averaging 1.0 blocks per set, and was named the first Freshman of the Week of the 2019 season by the Gulf South Conference.
Three players are averaging more than two kills per set on the season for the Wolves, led by McKenna Wharton who is delivering on 2.81 kills per set this year. She is slightly ahead of White, who is averaging 2.79 kills per set. White leads in total kills with 78 but has played in two more sets than has Wharton in 2019.
The coaching staff has been rotating two players at the libero position throughout the season, with Emilee Harris and Jaylen Daffin each getting a shot at the jersey. Harris leads the Wolves in digs thus far on the year with 2.68 while Daffin is just behind with 2.38 per set. Wharton is also in the conversation, averaging 2.27 digs per set on the year.
West Georgia enters Tuesday’s contest with the lead in team service aces in the Gulf South Conference in 2019. The Wolves have 67 aces on the year, led by Wharton with 14. Just behind Wharton is Fleming, who comes into the week with 12 aces. Freshman Molly Kate Atkins is third on the team with 11 aces on the year.
Freshman of the Week
UWG freshman middle Tierra White made history last week, becoming the first UWG player to win Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Week in the history of the volleyball program. White had 41 total kills with a .390 hitting percentage and added 13 blocks to earn the nod from league officials in the weekly voting. Her biggest game came against Alabama Huntsville when she had 13 kills with just two errors to lead the Wolves.
Preseason GSC Standings
West Georgia was picked to finish seventh in the 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released recently by the Gulf South Conference. Should the Wolves finish in that spot or higher, UWG would earn a berth into the 2019 Gulf South Conference tournament. West Florida was picked as the favorite to win this year’s crown, and the Argos have won the past two league championships.
The Wolves are currently fourth in the Gulf South Conference in hitting percentage this season, hitting .198 as a team on the year. White is the leader in that category, coming into the ninth match of the season with a hitting percentage of .333 thus far on the season. Anjelina Webb is just behind her with a .241 hitting percentage.
On the Block
West Georgia is also fourth in team blocks on the season, coming into the week with an average of 2.04 blocks per set on the year. White and Carrington Terrell lead the way in that category with .93 and .73 blocks per set this season. White comes into the week with 26 total blocks on the season, including six solo blocks which also leads the team. Terrell is second with 19 blocks, including four solos.
Starting Off Aces
Four Wolves are in the top-10 in the Gulf South Conference in service aces heading into the Clark Atlanta match. McKenna Wharton leads the way with 14 and is third in the conference with 0.54 aces per set. She is followed by Madi Fleming with 12, Molly Kate Atkins with 11, and Hannah Flack with eight. Flack is fifth in the league in aces per set with 0.44, followed by Fleming in sixth at 0.43 and Atkins at 0.39.
McKenna Wharton and Tierra White have the two highest kill totals in a single match this season. Wharton had 14 against Flagler this past weekend and had 13 against Alabama Huntsville in the opening weekend. White had 13 kills twice this season, including against Embry-Riddle this past weekend and also against Alabama Huntsville in the UAH Classic. JoJo Webb and Hannah Flack each have had one match with 12 kills, with Webb’s against UAH and Flack’s against Embry-Riddle.