SOUTHERN MISS 3, WESTERN CAROLINA 2 (22-25, 25-15, 15-25, 25-22, 15-12)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Southern Miss bounced back from a difficult third set and authored a comeback victory over host Western Carolina to move into the semifinals of the 2022 NIVC.
Southern Miss will play at Boston College in the semifinals; the match is set for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 10.
The Golden Eagles (21-11) got to double figures first in the fifth set, 10-9, and saw the lead grow to 13-11 on a service error. The best swings at the end came from Reagan Leinen, who had two big kills, including the match winner.
Western Carolina took a 20-16 lead in the first set, with Southern Miss responding to tie it up at 20-all, then 22-all. The Catamounts then scored three straight to close it out, including a kill from Livi Wiedmann. Southern Miss got off to a much better start in Set 2, taking an 11-3 lead and extending it to 14-4.
The teams were tied up at 6-all in the third set before WCU stormed ahead to take the set comfortably. In Set 4, USM had a 16-15 lead before a cluster of kills from Cara Atkinson pushed the visitors up, 20-16.
Atkinson had 19 kills for Southern Miss, and Mia Wesley closed with 18 kills. Kenzie Smith came through with 56 assists; Megan Harris had 32 digs (tying her career best), Lindsey Legg added 16 digs and Lauren Talbert finished with 14 digs.
The Catamounts (20-13) were paced by Bailey Hartsough’s 22 kills (tying her career high) to go with 14 digs. Merry Gebel had 16 kills and 21 digs. Sarah Janourova closed with 25 assists and Sydney Carlson added 21 assists; Destinee Dorsey had 33 digs.
BOSTON COLLEGE 3, XAVIER 2 (23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-18, 15-10)
NEWTON, Mass. – Boston College, which won its first two 2022 NIVC matches in sweeps, fought through to claim a five-setter against Xavier to earn a spot in the semifinals.
The Eagles (22-13) will take on Southern Miss in the semis; that match is slated for 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.
In the fifth set, Boston College jumped ahead early, 10-4, and closed the deal with kills from Izzy Clavenna, Silvia Ianeselli, Kate Brennan (who played on last year’s NIVC champion’s roster at UNLV) and the finale from Julie Haggerty.
Xavier (21-12) won a hard-fought first set; Boston College answered in Set 2, which was tied 10-all before the Eagles took command with an 8-1 run. The third set saw Xavier jump ahead 16-5, and a well-timed kill from Brooklyn Cink put the Musketeers up, 18-10. In Set 4, it was 10-all when BC’s Ianeselli cracked out two aces, and the lead was fortified to 17-12 for the Eagles on a kill from Haggerty.
For the Eagles, Ianeselli had 15 kills; Clavenna, Jensen and Alayna Crabtree each finished with 14 kills. Grace Penn had 36 assists, Sophia Lambros added 22 assists and Anna Murphy closed with 22 digs. Crabtree had 17 digs, and Ianeselli added 16 digs.
Xavier got 16 kills from both Cink (who also chipped in with 11 digs) and Delaney Hogan; Angel Robinson and Maryann O’Toole both finished with 11 kills. Carrigan O’Reilly came through with 52 assists and 11 digs; Lucia Corsaro had 20 digs and Stevie Wolf added 12 digs.