VOLLEYBALL: Workman, Eagles Dominate At BC Invitational Tournament
Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 00:09
A three game sweep at the Boston College Invitational for the BC volleyball team this weekend improved what was looking like a shaky start into one of the strongest that the team has seen in the past five years as the team improved their record to 5-2. The tournament—which was played over both Saturday and Sunday—saw BC playing host to Hampton, Bryant, and Fairfield with each team facing off once with each other.
BC closed out the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Hampton. The game started out very evenly matched as the teams battled back-and-forth to start the first set. The teams remained deadlocked exchanging points until, after being tied at 15, the Eagles managed to crack open the score slightly, winning nine of the next 14 points to put themselves at match point. BC took the first set 25-22 before Hampton won a similarly back and forth second set that required extra points. Neither team put up a cushion of more than three points throughout the set, and as the Eagles and the Pirates battled past the 25-point mark without a two-point margin for either team, the set went to extra points. In the end, a 29-27 decision was made in favor of the pirates.
It was there, however, that the Eagles clicked into gear taking the next two sets at 25-17 and 25-21, respectively. For the Eagles, Katie Workman led the way with 22 kills and five digs. Kellie Barnum dished out 51 assists and added seven digs as well while hitting at a .455 rate, and Sarah Mendes added in two aces to finish a solid day of serving. Vendula Strakova starred for Hampton with 21 kills and 14 digs, but the Eagles wrapped up their tournament with a fairly comfortable win for a perfect weekend.
The middle game of the tournament was another 3-1 victory for the Eagles thanks to another strong game from Workman. Workman put up 14 kills and 19 digs while Madisen Lydon added three aces to go with 18 digs of her own. BC started off strong and took both of the first sets 25-20 before dropping the third 26-24. The Eagles comfortably took the fourth set, however, blowing out the Stags 25-13 for the win. Barnum again led the way in terms of assists with 35 while Melissa McTighe paced the Eagles hitting at a .467 rate. Caitlin Stapleton stood out for Fairfield with 11 kills to go along with 34 assists, but the Eagles proved to be too much for the Stags who dropped to 1-5 on the year with the loss.
The Eagles started their tournament off with their best match of the weekend against Bryant. BC swept the Bulldogs 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 in three commanding sets to make a statement as they started the three-game stretch. Workman led the way with 10 kills to go along with three digs, Barnum had five kills to go along with a game high 31 assists, and Courtney Castle put up 12 digs to lead the team. Head coach Chris Campbell spoke about his teams’ performance, citing the defensive performance as a reason for winning.
“I thought we came out and played well. Bryant is a good team,” Campbell said. “They’ve got some good experience and some heavy hitters, so I thought we were going to have to defend and block well and the girls did exactly that.”
Several Eagles were honored in the post-tournament awards. Barnum and McTighe were both named to the All-Tournament team for the best performers over the weekend. Katty Workman, meanwhile, earned even higher honors when she was named the BC Invitational Most Valuable Player with 46 kills and 27 digs on the weekend.
The Eagles continue with their non-conference schedule for another few weeks to open the season. They will be in New York to take on both Fordham and Columbia next Friday before facing off with Binghamton on Saturday at the Columbia Invitational. They take on Miami the following Saturday to open ACC play. n