Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

September 8, 2013

Valdosta State Volleyball starts season 4-0

Carrollton — Volleyball finished their weekend with a two match sweep to conclude the West Georgia Invitational on Saturday, defeating Malone College 3-1 and King College 3-0 to improve their record to a perfect 4-0 in new head coach Mike Swan’s VSU debut.

“It feels really good going into the season at 4-0,” sophomore Lelalelei Nomura said. “It shows that even though we’re a new team with a new coach, we can all work together and play really well.”

The Blazers took the first two sets 25-17 and 25-16, then fell 25-18 in the third set. The match concluded with a narrow victory in the fourth and final set, as the Blazers toppled Malone 26-24.

Jessica Codato provided 45 assists for the red and black in the opening match, while Natalia Campos continued her strong defensive play on the weekend with 21 digs.

Nomura, who played at middle blocker this weekend in addition to her usual outside hitter position, led the charge offensively for Valdosta State with a .632 hitting performance. Nomura had 12 kills and no errors on 19 swings.

“This was my first time playing middle in my whole college career,” said Nomura. “I felt like I played really well. I still have a lot of things to work on with the coaches, but my teammates really helped me out setting up the blocks, and the sets, and great passing. The contributed a lot to how well I played this weekend.”

Sophomore Kelsey Kovar provided offensive support, delivering  a strong .478 hitting performance.

Kovar finished with 11 kills and no errors in 23 attempts, and the Ontario native also played well on defense with four blocks.

The Blazers hit for .275 in the match, while holding Malone to a .161 hitting percentage.

VSU also beat out Malone in the blocking column 17-7.

VSU made quick work of King in the final match, taking three straight sets 25-13, 25-22, and 25-17.

The Blazers outhit their opponent .227 to .101, and delivered a strong overall defensive performance with 56 digs against King's 35.

Kirkwood finished strong offensively with 14 kills, while Kovar swung for 11 kills, and Destiny Berry  delivered 9 kills with a .240 hitting percentage. Codato shared setting duties with Ashley LaLa, as they collectively dished out 40 assists.

Valdosta State will host Albany State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night for their home opener, with a Meet the Blazers event to follow the match.

Check back at www.vstateblazers.com to follow all the Blazer’s athletics in 2013.

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