Led by a career high in kills from freshman Elise Gregory, Milligan College defeated UVa-Wise in four sets (25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22) Tuesday night at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. The Buffaloes (3-0) avenged their five-set loss on the road a season ago to the Cavaliers (0-1).
“I feel like this team played with a lot of heart,” said head coach Doneva Bays. “We showed that we can play together and overcome adversity. If we can show that this early, it is exciting what our future holds.”
BY THE NUMBERS
The freshman recorded her first collegiate double-double posting 22 kills and 12 digs. Gregory also posted a match-high in service aces with three.
Julie Dockery continued her stellar start to the season with 16 kills on 29 attacks for a match-high .414 hitting percentage. Kellee Geren facilitated the offensive attack with 49 assists for an average of 12.25 per set. Alyssa Rupert led all players with 36 digs to anchor the defense for the Buffaloes.
Milligan jumped out to a quick start never trailing in the first set, in which they closed out with four straight points. The Buffs put together a late rally in set number two after trailing by as many as six, but the Cavaliers would score the final two points to tie the match at one.
The Buffaloes used a strong offensive attack (.364 hitting percentage) in the third game to reclaim the lead. After both teams traded the lead back-and-forth throughout the set, Milligan began to pull away midway through using several mini runs. UVa-Wise would tie it at 20 late, but the Buffs scored five of the last six points to close out the third game.
After scoring the first point of set number four, Milligan never led until taking a 17-16 lead halfway through. Gregory would cap off her special night with the game-winning kill set up by Geren to close out the victory.
The Buffs continue their nine-game homestand this weekend when they host the 11th annual Milligan Mountain Madness. Milligan will face off against Midway, Friday at 4 p.m., and University of St. Francis at 3 p.m. Saturday will see the Buffs square off against Asbury University at 11 a.m. and University of Cumberlands at 3 p.m.
Photo (Robert Kell) and Story provided by Milligan Athletics