ELIZABETHTON, TN- All six of the Milligan College volleyball team’s seniors got to experience a satisfying victory in their last match inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. After defeating Point University in four sets, the Buffs rallied from behind to avenge a mid-season loss against Montreat College in four sets, sweeping the day and keeping pace for the lead in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
Milligan defeated Point 25-7, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18 and Montreat 23-25, 26-24, 25-11, 25-16 to improve to 28-6 (17-2 AAC) where the Buffs are even in the loss column with Union College with only three matches left in the regular season. Milligan finished the home season at 17-1 inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse, where the Buffs won 51 of 60 sets this year.
Seniors Charlie Bateman, Samantha Bruinius, Jadin Foster, Grace Ann Moorhouse, Shannon Reed and Bailey Thomas were recognized prior to the first match of the day which saw Milligan win easily over Point in four sets. Bruinius had a match high in kills (19), Moorhouse a match high in digs (15), and Bateman a match high in blocks (4 ½). Freshman Kellee Geren, the reigning AAC Setter of the Week, had 50 assists.
With the regular season having played out like it has and with Montreat upsetting Milligan in three sets earlier this season, Milligan needed every bit of grit and determination to win the second match of the day, and the Buffs did so in exciting fashion. Like the previous meeting, Montreat jumped out to a set lead and led late in the second, threatening to go up by a commanding two-game-to-none advantage. The visiting Cavs won five straight points near the end of the second frame helping them take a 23-21 lead.
At that point, Julie Dockery was subbed in and made a kill on her first contact of the ball to make it 23-22. The Buffs then still had to fight off a set point at 24-23, and Bateman obliged on that with a kill to make it 24-24. Two points later Bateman was joined by Bruinius for a block which gave Milligan the set, 26-24.
From there, it was nearly all Buffs as they went on a 10-1 run, including a 7-0 run on Moorhouse’s serve to help close the third set on a 15-4 run. Then they jumped out to a lead of 13-8 in the fourth on the way to closing out the match.
Milligan was led in the second match by junior Marissa Langford with 21 kills, although Bruinius followed close behind with 20 kills. Geren, who reached the 1,000-assist mark last week, assisted 50 of the team’s kills against Montreat to finish the day with 100 assists.