VALDOSTA -- The Valdosta State Lady Blazers continued their recent hot streak with a three-game pasting of Albany State on Tuesday at The Complex. The 30-24, 30-26, 30-16 win pushed Valdosta State's overall record to 10-13 and snapped the Lady Rams' nine match winning streak.
VSU head coach Jon Teetzel hoped his team could maintain the level of play that gave them 3-0 victories in three of their last four matches.
"I told them in the locker room that we needed to come out and take care of our own business," Teetzel said. "We just had to work on the things we need to do for the rest of the week. We've been doing better the last couple of weeks. I just wanted us to keep it going."
Madalyn Loehr led the Lady Blazers in kills with 17, digs with nine and hit .448 for the match as VSU again applied consistent offensive pressure, forcing the Lady Rams to take poor shots or settle for free balls. Rachel Hoodzow added 16 kills, and Anna Einarsdottir ripped four service aces.
Albany State (11-7) hit just .040 for the match, including -.158 in the third game, and never held a lead.
The Lady Blazers quickly took command of the first game with three aces and used a series of Albany State hitting errors to build a 19-9 lead. The Lady Rams scored the next seven points, closing to 19-16 before a Suzy Watson kill broke streak and VSU held on for a 30-24 win.
Albany State took advantage of another VSU letdown to climb back into the second game, rallying from a 17-11 deficit to close within two points at 21-19, before the Lady Blazers again recovered to take a 30-26 win.
The third game, however, was all Valdosta State. The Lady Rams seemed to deflate after the Blazers ran to an 11-2 lead, and seven VSU aces kept Albany State down and out.
The Lady Blazers now face Gulf South Conference opponents in eight of their final ten matches. Teetzel knows the his team -- now sixth in the GSC standings -- cannot afford any mid-match lapses if they hope to climb into the top four and earn a spot in the GSC postseason tournament.
"We have our mental lapses here and there," he said. "That's when other teams make those runs. When we get somebody on the ropes, we've got to keep them there. In the conference, when you let a team back in the match, they stay in. We can't afford to do that."
VSU travels to Lincoln Memorial for a GSC contest on Saturday before returning home for two more conference matchups against Alabama-Huntsville and North Alabama.
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