Montreat College
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MONTREAT, N.C. – The Montreat Cavaliers women's volleyball team started off a weekend slate of two conference matches when they beat the Columbia College Koalas in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-11) at McAlister Gym on Friday. The win moved the Cavaliers to .500 on the year and, for the moment, an even 6-6 overall mark this season. 

Anyla Kryeziu (SR/Prishtina, Kosovo) led the home team with 11 kills, while Courtney Glover (SR/Nashville, TN) added ten and Ila Elstein (SO/Jacksonville, FL) rounded out Montreat's top three with eight. Senior Abby Graham (SR/Chattanooga, TN) added 35 assists in the three-game set.

The next day the Cavaliers' faced another AAC foe in the Allen University Yellow Jackets. The result was another win, with Montreat sweeping the Yellow Jackets (25-16, 25-23, 25-21). Graham added 32 assists to her two-day total while Kendra Johnson (SR/Ararat, NC) contributed 27 digs.

The Cavs now find themselves at 7-6 overall and 4-0 in conference play this season, good for a first-place tie with Union College in the AAC's North Division.

"We had some rough moments, but finished when we needed to," said head coach Kristy Kamer of her team's two-game effort. "It was good to get two wins this weekend."

"We're very happy with the win. We came out a little bit slow, [but] we also came from playing last night," said Kryeziu following Saturday morning's sweep of Allen. "We had three wins in one week," she added, including last Tuesday's AAC win over Bryan College in which Kryeziu notched her 1,000 career kill. The Cavaliers were a perfect 3-0 for the week ended Saturday and will face Bluefield College on Tuesday.

Next up: Online - A longer look at Kryeziu's milestone effort. On the court - The Cavs host AAC conference foe Bluefield College (5-9, 2-2) at 6:30 p.m. at McAlister Gym on Tuesday.

Pictured: Montreat's Madelyn Ybarra (FR/Weslaco, TX) in action against Allen University on Saturday. 

Photo credit & additional Cavalier team photos: Daniel Brunson Photography

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – On Friday night, the Montreat Cavaliers women's soccer team notched its second straight win when it outlasted the AAC's Brenau Golden Tigers with a 1-0 victory at Pulliam Stadium/Howard Fisher Memorial Field.

In what proved a defensive battle, the sole and deciding score of the evening came off the foot of Alanna Castaneda (JR/Dallas, TX) from 18 yards out in the 28th minute of play. From there, the Cavaliers' (2-3-0, 1-0) defense and goalkeeper Jordan DeVaan (SR/Asheville, NC) made sure the goal would prove ample. 

"I thought our defense played a great game," said head coach Courtney Nash afterward. "They worked hard the entire match and Jordan played very well, coming up big, especially in the first half." 

The senior keeper from Asheville echoed her coach's sentiment in describing the effort put forth in front of her. "I felt like our defense moved a lot more fluidly together this game than the previous game and we were able to pick off 'through' balls a lot," said DeVaan. "So their shots came from the outside, which we were able to stop more easily." 

The low score belies the steady pressure applied by Montreat's offense, especially early in the second half. Tori Klose (JR/Keokuk, IA), working in combination with Hannah Leonard (FR/Troutville, VA), nearly buried an insurance goal four minutes into the second. The two, along with Castaneda, were frequently on the verge of creating a scoring opportunity in the Golden Tigers' (0-4-2, 0-3-1) end of the field. 

"Offensively we were dangerous tonight," said Nash. "Attacking with speed and looming to get into the dangerous space behind their back line." 

The win came on the heels of last Saturday's 2-0 road victory over UPike. In that game, freshman keeper Alexia Heck (FR/Roanoke, VA) and the Montreat defense dealt a shutout against the Bears, while Castaneda and Leonard scored for the visitors.

The momentum from that win, along with a return home to the friendly confines and enthusiastic crowd of Pulliam Stadium, may have figured into Friday night's outcome.

"I think that game [against UPike] gave us momentum," added DeVaan. "We were on the road, and home is where we play our best. Under these lights we play so well." 

Next: The Cavaliers travel to Truett McConnell University to face the Bears (3-2-1, 1-0-0) in AAC play.

Pictured: Cavaliers' midfielder Erin Cleland (JR/Duluth, GA) in action at Pulliam Stadium

Photo credit & additional Cavalier team photos: Daniel Brunson Photography 

MONTREAT, N.C. – On Friday, the Montreat Cavaliers reversed their early 2017 fortunes when they bested the NCAA's Mars Hill Lions, 6-3, at Montreat's Patricia Cornwell Tennis Center. In February. they'd fallen to the Lions, 9-0, on the road at Mars Hill.

The Cavs opened up their 2017 fall season home opener by taking two of three doubles matches. 

"The big thing was the doubles point. Taking two out of three doubles is so crucial going into singles," said head coach Andrew Cobb. "We've focused a lot on doubles and it's paying off now." Anh Hoang (JR/Miami, FL) partnered with David Garcia (JR/Madrid, Spain) to notch an 8-6 win at second doubles, while Jackson Plyler (SO/Weddington, NC) and Leopoldo Lucero (JR/Quito, Ecuador) delivered a convincing 8-2 win at third doubles. Ben Cree (SO/Belfast, Northern Ireland) and Lorward Choi (JR/Torrance, CA) engaged in a serve-and-volley slugfest against Mars Hill's skilled tandem of Roberto Ortiz and Fernando Neto before falling at first doubles, 8-5. After three doubles matches, Montreat led 2-1. 

The Cavs and Lions then split four relatively short singles matches, with fifth (Plyler) and sixth (Hoang) singles earning victories, and first (Garcia) and third (Choi) falling. All were straight set decisions. That left the overall match at 4-3, Montreat, with second (Lucero) and fourth (Cree) singles extending into third sets in their best-of-three matches. Both would prove comeback wins for Montreat. 

At second singles, Lucero took a one set lead over Mars Hill's Tom Farman on a first set tiebreaker. He dropped the second set, 4-6, and trailed the third, 4-1, after five games. The sophomore from Quito, Ecuador then rattled over five straight wins over Farman to take the deciding set, 6-4. 

Meanwhile, Cree was battling the Lions' Kyrel Trim through a nearly identical script at fourth singles. Cree took the first set via a tiebreaker, then dropped the second, 4-6. He trailed 3-0 in the third before bouncing back and taking the next three games to even the set. Trim was then forced to retire due to cramping.

The Cavs followed Friday's match and headed east to face the NCAA's Lenoir Rhyne on Saturday (recap to follow) and Guilford University on Sunday.

The packed weekend schedule had a clear overall objective: mimicking the AAC tournament's weekend schedule in the spring of 2018. "We had the goal of facing what we'll face in the AAC," said Cobb.

On Friday, the Cavs made good work of mirroring a trip through the quarterfinals. 

Next: On Saturday, the Cavs traveled to the NCAA's Lenoir-Rhyne and on Sunday face Guilford University at 1:00 p.m.. 

Pictured: Montreat's Lorward Choi hits a groundstroke winner in his doubles match against Mars Hill on Friday

 
 
 
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