Women's Volleyball Brings Coker and Wingate to Pioneer Arena

Women's Volleyball Brings Coker and Wingate to Pioneer Arena

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University women's volleyball team hosts a wide spectrum of  South Atlantic Conference teams for a home weekend series. Coker sits 11th in the standings, while nationally-ranked Wingate is undefeated through 16 games. The Pioneers have their second straight Tuesday off in preparation for the weekend. Fans are encouraged to wear white on Friday for a "White Out" against the Cobras and black on Saturday for a "Black Out" against the Bulldogs.

The Black and Orange are currently 4-1 in Pioneer Arena and are in the midst of a three-match win streak at home. Tusculum split the week in South Carolina, falling to Anderson in four sets and blanking Newberry.

Emiah Burrowes had an excellent week, collecting 33 kills, with 18 coming at Newberry to tie her career-high. Four other Pioneers racked up double-digits in the category: Gabby Gray (19), Carli Pigza (15), Taylor Blythe (11), and Tatum Thornton (10). At the line, Catherine Clingan recorded seven service aces, including tying her career-high four at Newberry.

Defensively, Sosnowski led the way with 48 digs, while Gray dug up 29. The sophomore Sosnowski set a new career mark at Anderson with 29 digs. At the net, Blythe is credited with six block assists and Aubrey Hawkins has three.

The setting duties were shared by Elise Carmichael and Clingan, with each appearing in all seven sets. The freshman Carmichael dished out 43 assists, while the sophomore Clingan contributed 37.

Tusculum ranks second in the conference in assists (613) and third in kills (640). The Pioneers are also in the top half of the SAC in nine other statistical categories, including total blocks, blocks per set, attacks, opponent hitting percentage, and assists per set. Individually, Sosnowski is third in the SAC in digs per set (5.18) and Blythe is third in hitting percentage at .360. Burrowes and Gray are second and third in the league in kills with 157 and 147, respectively. Burrowes is averaging 3.34 kills per set, good for third in the SAC.

Coker (4-9, 1-8 SAC) will face the Pioneers as its first match of the week on Friday. The Cobras' only conference win was over Newberry in their first SAC match of the year. Emily Everton and Taylor du Bray head up the Coker attack with 142 and 123 kills, respectively. Ashley Carson is the primary setter, collecting 292 assists, while Olivia Cerick is excelling at the service line with 24 aces. From the back line as a libero, Camryn Tate has scooped up 173 digs, while at the net, Chelsey Blume is credited with 51 total blocks (11 solo, 40 assists).

Since the two teams first met in 2012 (the year before Coker joined the SAC), the Pioneers hold a 9-4 advantage over the Cobras. Coker will play at SAC opponent UVa-Wise on Saturday afternoon.

Wingate (16-0, 9-0 SAC) have recorded 13 sweeps, with only one SAC team taking them to four sets. The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs are one of seven teams remaining in Division II without a loss. Sophie Schaff leads the way with 146 kills, while Marianna Warren has also reached triple-digits with her 107 kills. Shannon Kasprak and Rachel Alles share the setting load with 291 and 286 assists, respectively. Warren heads up the ace department with 28 thus far, average .70 per set which is second in the NCAA. Defensively, Treslyn Ortiz is averaging nearly five digs per set for a total of 251. At the net, Schaff is credited with 57 total blocks (four solo, 53 assists). Wingate is top-10 across the division in six categories, including leading the country in opponent hitting percentage, allowing teams to hit a mere 0.064 against them.

The Bulldogs play at UVa-Wise on Friday night before traveling to the Pioneers on Saturday. In the 21-year series history, Wingate has dominated the previous 50-game spread, holding a 6-44 record over Tusculum. TU has not beaten the North Carolina team since 2012, which went to four sets, while the Bulldogs were ranked 16th in the country.

Links to live stats and video for Tusculum University athletic events can be found through tusculumpioneers.com.