MONTREAT, NC - The Montreat College volleyball team kicked off the 2016 season by hosting the 2016 Volley in the Mountains tournament over the weekend in McAlister Gymnasium. Playing in a round-robin format, the Cavaliers picked up their first win of the season and gained some valuable experience against a number of quality opponents.
On Friday afternoon, the team picked up a thrilling 3-2 victory over Point Park. After dropping the first set to the Pioneers, Montreat rebounded with a 25-17 second set win. Point Park would take the third set 25-16 and push the Cavaliers to the brink in the fourth. However, Montreat was able to dig deep and pulled out a thrilling 27-25 win in set four to set up a decisive fifth set. In the final frame, the Cavaliers continued their forward momentum and took the set 15-10 to clinch the victory.
Anyla Kryeziu (JR/Prishtina, Kosovo) led the team with 15 kills while Emily Howard (SR/Olin, NC) added 8 kills and a 0.400 hitting percentage. Freshmen setters Bella Huerta (FR/Burlington, NC) and Megan Condon (FR/Walnut Cove, NC) combined for 51 assists while upperclassmen Sara Rawls (SR/Brantford, Ontario) and Kendra Johnson (JR/Ararat, NC) combined for 36 digs.
On Saturday morning, the Cavaliers faced a tough opponent in Life University and would fall 3-0 to the Eagles (25-14, 25-16, 25-16). Kryeziu would again lead the way with 7 kills while Condon added 21 assists and 10 digs. Kendra Johnson collected 9 digs in the contest.
On Saturday afternoon, the Cavaliers returned to action against Keiser University. The Seahawks imposed their will early in the match and rolled to a 25-18 first set win. Keiser would prevail in the second set 25-17 before the Cavaliers came alive in the third set. Montreat played the Eagles evenly in that frame before eventually falling 25-21. Megan Condon led the way for the Cavaliers with 21 assists and 10 digs while Anyla Kryeziu had 11 kills. Kendra Johnson came up with 9 digs for the contest.
The Cavaliers wrapped up the tournament with a thriller against Shawnee State on Sunday. After dropping the first two sets 25-15 and 25-16, Montreat came alive and squeezed out a 28-26 third set victory to keep the match going. The Cavaliers continued their strong play in the fourth set, earning a 25-20 win to push the match into a final set. In the fifth frame, the Bears got off to a good start and held on for a 15-10 set win to earn the victory.
The team will resume play on Tuesday, August 30th when they host new Appalachian Athletic Conference member Allen (SC) at 6:30pm. This will be the conference opener for both schools.
Montreat College Volleyball will once again host the annual Volley in the Mountains Tournament. Montreat College and five other teams will begin action on Friday, August 19th at 5pm.
You can watch all the live action HERE
MONTREAT, NC - Montreat College head volleyball coach Kristy Kamer has announced the signing of two student-athletes to the 2016 recruiting class.
Ila Elstein is a middle hitter from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Elstein, a three-year varsity letter winner, was the captain of a Bishop Kenny squad that was the 2015 FHSAA State Runner-Up. She contributed 150 kills and 86 blocks on the season en route to being named to the Jacksonville.com First Coast First Team.
During her junior year, Elstein was part of a state championship team that finished with a #6 national ranking and a spot on the MaxPreps Tour of Champions Top 10.
"We are very blessed to have Ila join us for next fall," said Coach Kamer. "When she came in last spring to practice and tour campus, we knew right away we wanted her. She is a great fit for not only our program, but Montreat as well. Ila comes from a strong high school program and great club, she will bring a lot of energy to the court. I am excited to watch her grow as a player and person on and off the court."
The daughter of Andrew and Tonya Elstein, Ila plans to study Biology at Montreat.
Jasmine Larsen is an Outside Hitter from Danville Community High School in Danville, Indiana. Larsen, a four-year letter winner, was a First Team All Conference selection for a Danville squad that captured a conference championship and finished with a school-record 29 wins. Larsen also captured Second Team All-Conference honors in 2013 and 2014.
"We are extremely excited to have Jazzy join us," said Coach Kamer. "Jazzy is coming from Indiana and will help the program grow. She came down to visit on a Friday and committed to us that same day. Her spirit and drive to get better will be a key factor for her. She will fit in well with not only our program but Montreat. We are excited to watch her grow in her faith and grow on and off the court!"
The daughter of Shawn and Brandi Larsen, Jasmine plans to study Business at Montreat.