Dayton, Tenn. – The Patriot Volleyball team opened their season over the weekend in the Bryan College Preseason Bash. The team came back with a 1-3 record after facing stiff competition throughout the weekend.
All four of the teams the Patriots faced were either ranked in the top 25 or receiving votes. The Patriots opened the tournament on Friday with a match against #4 Viterbo (Wisc.), later that day they were in action against #20 College of Coastal Georgia. Then on Saturday they took on #20 Indiana Wesleyan University and they ended it with a match against the host (RV) Bryan (Tenn.).
The Patriots didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for against Viterbo (5-0). The V-Hawks showcased their No. 4 ranking by sweeping the Patriots in three sets (25-15, 25-21, 25-10). The V-Hawks tallied 45 kills and a .319 hitting percentage. The Patriots, on the other hand didn’t fare as well with 21 kills and a .158 hitting percentage.
In their second match of the day, they Patriots were put up against College of Coastal Georgia (5-1). This match-up turned out to be a back-and-forth battle. The Mariners won the opening set 25-20, but St. Catharine battled back taking the second and third sets 25-22 and 27-25, respectively. Coastal Georgia proved to be too much after they won the fourth set 25-22, and the fifth set 15-13.
Rebecca Just (Louisville, Ky.) led the Patriot hitters with 16 kills and a .277 hitting percentage. Just also tallied 17 digs in the five set thriller. Jordan Strickland (Lexington, Ky.) turned in a double-double with 40 assists and 20 digs. Jodie Klein (Louisville, Ky.) led the defense with 26 digs.
The competition didn’t get any easier for the Patriots in the second day of the tournament. In their opener on Saturday they battled the Wildcats of Indiana Wesleyan University. The Patriot offense struggled to get going against the Wildcats as they were swept 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-16).
St. Catharine recorded their first victory of the season in their final match against Bryan College. The Patriots downed the Lions in three sets (25-12, 25-21, 25-17). Rebecca Just again led the hitters with 12 kills and a .310 hitting percentage to go along with 12 digs. Mikaela Beck (Detroit, Mich.) also turned in a solid effort with nine kills. Jordan Strickland and Maja Krstonosic (Kikinda, Serbia) did a solid job guiding the Patriot offense with 16 and 15 assists, respectively.
The Patriots will be back in action this Tuesday when they take on Centre (Ky.) in their home opener at 7 p.m. EST.