|Mobile (Ala.) ( 21-3, 7-0)||25||25||25||3|
|Faulkner (Ala.) ( 10-7, 3-4)||22||23||13||0|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Indv. Leaders||Faulkner (Ala.)|
|#2 Mirella Gatterdam - 16||Kills||#21 Krystalynn Leomiti - 9|
|#12 Samantha Nichols - 2||Blocks||#20 Kortney Barnes - 5|
|#38 Jocelyn Mahayag - 20||Digs||#9 Julianne Wilkes - 12|
|#47 Annie Kate Hudson - 3||Aces||3 Players - 1|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Team Statistics||Faulkner (Ala.)|
by Ryan Bartels
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Faulkner (10-7, 3-4 SSAC) was looking to do what few teams have done so far this season and what no Southern States Athletic Conference program has done; topple Mobile (23-3, 7-0). The Lady Eagles battled hard early, but the Rams continued to elevate their level of play as the match progressed while the home team did the opposite and the disproportionate execution proved too much to overcome in the 25-22, 25-23, 25-13 loss tonight here at Tine Davis Gym.
Grit and scrappy energy were both crucial components for Faulkner in the opener. The home team led until the 18-18 mark when back-to-back errors lingered in the mindset longer than they should have.
The Lady Eagles never surrendered, but the hiccup gave the visitors the brief window they needed to grind into the lead and eventual win.
The second frame was a back-and-forth battle with Faulkner inching closer down the stretch, but Mobile managed to stay one step ahead and by the third bout there was little the birds could do to turn the tide.
The Rams were exceptionally efficient, hitting .301 as a unit despite being out-blocked 10 to three overall. Mobile had three players with double-digit kill tallies in the straight-sets victory and all of them hit north of .300.
The visitors also managed to improve offensively in each successive game. The Rams hit .277 in the opener before increasing the total to .288 and .353 over subsequent showdowns.
Mobile has won 27 straight sets, the last 21 of which are against SSAC opposition.
Faulkner, meanwhile, was most effective on the swing in Set 1 where it boosted a .242 hitting percentage. That figure dropped to .208 by the second contest before tapering off to an abysmal .091 in the final set.
Defensive energy up front remains the Lady Eagles' biggest weapon. Middle Kortney Barnes was the ringleader in the blocking assault registering five total stops against the high-octane offense while securing five kills.
Fellow middle Tori Marchant followed with four total blocks and added four digs and three kills to her statistical numbers.
Krystalynn Leomiti was the offensive leader with nine kills and hit .296 while digging three balls and assisting on a pair of blocks.
Ashley Ingwersen hit .263 with six kills and had eight digs.
Libero Julianen Wilkes had 12 digs while Cassie Bailie added nine.
Faulkner will have a long break before it resumes league action against William Carey in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The Lady Eagles clipped the Crusaders 3-2 in their previous matchup.