KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2014) – A streak of three straight tournament wins for the Milligan College volleyball team was brought to an end Friday afternoon in the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament semifinal as second-seeded Union College took a 3-0 (25-16, 25-10, 25-16) victory over the Buffaloes at the MeadowView Marriott.
Milligan ended its season at 19-17 (10-4 AAC) and was the third-place team in the AAC. Union, the two seed whose only league losses this season were against top-seeded Bryan College, will play Bryan for the tournament championship Friday at 4 p.m.
“I think we had a great season overall,” Head Coach Doneva Bays said. “We had a really great run in the tournament. We played probably our best volleyball now, which is when you want to be playing your best, here at the end of the season.”
Friday’s semifinal match started at 11 a.m. but did not end until after 2:30 in the afternoon as the match included a two hour and 30-minute delay related to a power outage. With the score 9-8 in the final game, both semifinal matches were forced to stop when the lights went out and would only come back on partially or temporarily for the next two and a half hours. Once the teams resumed, the Bulldogs closed out the match in exactly the same way they began it, taking 16 of the next 24 points-including four straight on two occasions-to close out the match.
Samantha Bruinius led Milligan in the attacking, registering seven kills and seven digs. Jessica Davenport and Marissa Langford each had five kills while Davenport added 19 assists.
Senior Kaitlyn Round finished with 10 digs to lead the defensive effort. In two years with the Buffs, the Billings, Montana, native ended her Milligan career with 1,062 digs, surpassing the 1,000 career digs mark in the regular season finale.
Entering the match against Union, Milligan had won 10 of its last 11 matches against league opponents, including seven straight during the month of October. Union, on the other hand, had only lost twice in the AAC this season-both against Bryan-and had only been pushed to five games once.
The meeting between Milligan and Union was the rubber match following a split regular season between them. Milligan had taken a nonconference meeting against the Bulldogs in five games early in the season but had fallen in a three-set match on Oct. 2.