By Mike DeVader, Reinhardt Director of Athletic Communications & Media
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Eagles hadn't been on the floor for 12 days when they opened up play in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Championship on Thursday afternoon, but Reinhardt showed little sign of rust in a 3-0 sweep over the Rams of Bluefield (Va.) (25-6,25-22,25-17) in the quarterfinal round in Tennessee.
No. 25 Reinhardt cruised its way to back-to-back 30-win seasons with a mark of 30-2, one day after jumping back into the final spot of the NAIA Women's Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 late Wednesday.
To view the entire poll from the NAIA in which the Eagles grabbed 108 total voting points, please click here.
As for the play against the Rams, smooth offense and a multitude of errors by Bluefield enabled the hometown team to get postseason experience for a number of players on the roster.
"Today, our depth was big for us and right now every match is a new season," head coach Brian Goodhind said. "We went 1-0 and our focus will be on our girls resting and our staff scouting for tomorrow's season. To God goes all the Glory. #WePlayFor11."
The Eagles combined to hit over .350 in sets one and three, as 10 errors in the opening stanza gave the Rams no chance in the first game – which was won by Reinhardt by an astounding 19 tallies. Both teams hovered around zero in the second set in regards to hitting percentage and the Rams took advantage of their opportunity to give the Eagles a scare thanks to a slow start from the AAC's top seed.
The No. 1 team was able to fight back from multiple deficits to tie set two at 20-20 after a kill from Erinn Marroquin. Both teams would try to take control until a Bluefield error tied the score at 22 and opened the door for the Eagles to net three-straight scores to move ahead, 2-0, overall.
Reinhardt wouldn't waste any time in set three getting out to another big advantage, as the club took control at the very beginning and bolted out to a 10-point lead at 19-9. The Rams would show heart and leave their best efforts out on the court by not going away quietly, but their deficit was far too large.
A ball handling error by Bluefield would later send the Eagles to the next round.
Reinhardt Scoring Leaders vs. Bluefield
Kills Courtney Pressley (7), Shelby Glawson (5), Tessa Colden (5)
Aces Erinn Marroquin (3), Kelley Adkins (2), Carlee Baxter (1)
Blocks Shelby Glawson (4), Cheetara Bing (4), Shadaisha Summerall (3)
Assists Erinn Marroquin (16), Carlee Baxter (11), Shelby Glawson (1)
Digs Tessa Colden (11), Kelley Adkins (7), Mar Vives (7)
Reinhardt now plays No. 4 Union (Ky.) at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon in the semifinals.
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For more information on Reinhardt Women's Volleyball, please click here.