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VOLLEYBALL: Eagles Sweep ACC Foe

For The Heights

Published: Monday, October 1, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Thursday night was Student Night in Power Gym as the volleyball team had its ACC home opener against the University of Virginia. After suffering on the road last weekend, a solid week of practice helped the Eagles through two long overtime sets to get the best of the Cavaliers, taking the match in straight sets 3-0.

With a week to prepare for the Virginia team, Boston College knew what it was up against, but head coach Chris Campbell was adamant about the importance of focusing on the team’s own game.

“We know what we do well,” he explained, “and we have to execute that well.”
After taking the court for the National Anthem and paying tribute to their fans by tossing out mini BC volleyballs, the starting six of Courtney Castle, Franny Hock, Melissa McTighe, Krystle Higgins, Katty Workman, and Calga Sen, plus defensive specialist Lauren Fields, set right off to work as the first 15 points of the match saw both teams battling back and forth, neither taking a commanding lead. After a short run by the Cavaliers put them up 12-8,  however, Campbell decided that it was time to have a word with his team.

Following the timeout, the Eagles continued to struggle against the Cavaliers’ small lead, nearly tying the game three times, but allowing small spurts from the Virginia offense to get the better of them until, after being down 24-21 on the brink of a set point for the Cavs, the Eagles pushed back, forcing Virginia to take a timeout as they weren’t able to score their one point to end the set. The Eagles, after the timeout, quickly evened the score at 24, and strong offensive efforts from Workman and Castle led the teams into overtime points as the Eagles coming out with their two point margin at 29-27 to take the first set.

Campbell was very calm in his explanation of those final points.

“We’ve been on the reverse side of that, we’ve been up big and lost. Every time we go through that it’s painful, but it teaches you that it can happen to anybody,” he said. “Every team in the country is susceptible to nerves.”
Both teams came out into the second set hoping to capitalize on the high energy from the intense first set. But it was the Eagles that were able to take the upper hand from the beginning, jumping out to 8-4 and 14-7 leads as their defense and offense connected efficiently and effectively, working with small three-point runs in order to expand their lead.

In this decisive 25-15 set, contributions were spread out amongst the team. Workman had five kills, Higgins had three, Kellie Barnum had 13 assists, and Fields had five digs. As Campbell put it, “We just stopped making mistakes. We forced them to score their point.”
Virginia was not going to go down without a fight, and fought back in the third set, with the Eagles unable to force them back to take any sizable lead. Their greatest lead came at 9-6, until the Cavaliers fought back through the middle of the set to take a 18-15 lead. Errors were up since the last set, blocking was down, and the offense wasn’t flowing. The teams remained close, though, battling back and forth.

A scary moment came at 23-all, as the Eagles were hoping to close out the set. Workman, an offensive and defensive asset who had five kills in the set, stayed down on the court after landing awkwardly. After a quick check from the BC training staff, she was back on her feet and helped the Eagles to close out the match in extra points, 27-25.

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