Samantha Stallings, Sports Writer
Samford volleyball won their second SoCon championship in four years on Monday night, beating the Furman Paladins 3-1.
This was the Bulldogs’ second consecutive trip to the championship. Sophomore undeclared major Erin Bognar, senior sports administration major Chelsi Carter and senior journalism and mass communication major Michaela Reesor made the All-Tournament Team. Carter also was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
“We talked about it as a team that our biggest obstacle would be ourselves,” head coach Dex Schroeder said. “I knew that we would have to do our best every time we had an opportunity. The girls got behind that and stayed committed even during our slump late in the season. That belief is what helped get us through those tough matches in this tournament.”
In the first game of the tournament, Samford beat UTC 3-2 with the help of junior exercise science major Emily Meitz and Reesor. Meitz had a career high of 12 blocks and 10 kills. Reesor had a total of 24 kills with seven in the fifth set. Reesor also had 15 digs.
In the semifinals of the tournament, Bognar and sophomore fitness and health promotions major Gabbi Greenwald helped the team sweep UNCG. In each of the three sets, the Bulldogs trailed but came back to win.
In the second set against UNCG, the Bulldogs went on a 6-1 run, where four of those points came from blocks. Bognar and Greenwald each had 13 kills. Carter had 22 digs and three service aces.
The final match of the tournament was against Furman. The Bulldogs and the Paladins battled until the end. In the fourth set, Samford was down by six points when Carter and Reesor stepped up and helped the Bulldogs win the fourth set 28-26.
“I just kept telling myself to be the hero, be the hero of this game, be the person they talk about five years from now,” Carter said.
During the fourth set, Reesor broke the Samford all-time career kills record. Her record now stands at 1,627 kills.
“We definitely saw the opportunity in the beginning of the fourth set to seize the title and not let it go to a fifth set,” Reesor said. “We took an aggressive mentality that no matter what we were going to swing for the fences. We just couldn’t let up at all.”
The Bulldogs will find out where they head next during the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Central on ESPNU.