GREENVILLE, S.C. – Freshmen outside hitter Kenzie Schmatlz blasted a career-high 25 kills to lead the Converse College volleyball team to its second consecutive win in a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Bob Jones University on Tuesday afternoon.
The Valkyries picked up sets one and two by finals of 25-21 and 25-19, respectively, before dropping the next two by counts of 23-25 and 23-25. In the all-important fifth set, Converse collected the first seven points and cruised to a 15-9 win.
Jordan Mrkvicka posted her second career double-double with a career-highs of 34 assists to go along with 12 digs. Ansley Hodge and Journee English both broke into the career parade, adding 13 kills and 18 digs, respectively. Sydney Allen anchored the defense with a game-high 25 digs.
Set one determined what the entire match would look like, a back-and-forth affair. The initial frame contained 11 ties and six lead changes over the course of reaching 25 points. Bob Jones was able to build a little breathing room late in the match, pushing ahead by three (19-16) following an attack error by the Valkyries. However, Converse did not falter and finished the set on a massive 9-2 run, fueled by impressive serving from English to take a 1-0 match lead.
The second frame looked like Converse would run away with it early as the Valkyries jumped out to a quick 5-1 advantage. Unfortunately, BJU battled back to knot the contest at 11-all. A quick 5-2 outburst from the Purple and Gold provided breathing room at 16-13. The Bruins cut the deficit to a single point on three different occasions, the last being at 20-19, but a 5-0 run by Converse to end the set gave the Valkyries a commanding 2-0 match lead.
Bob Jones made things very interesting when they took the next two sets, sending the contest into the all-important and decisive fifth set.
In that fifth set Mrkvicka put on a show at the service line and Schmaltz blistered the Bruins defense with timely kills as the Vals connected on seven straight points to open the set. Bob Jones did not quit, but the deficit was too much as Converse finished the fifth set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
The Valkyries will be back in action on Friday, September 29 as they play host to North Greenville University. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.