ORLANDO, Fla. - The Columbia Volleyball team rebounded from a tough 0-2 start to the season with a 3-0 sweep over Jacksonville in the Holiday Inn Select/University of Central Florida Classic on Saturday at the Venue. The Lions defeated the Dolphins 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 to improve to 1-2 on the season.
The Lions started evenly with the Dolphins in the first set but finished it off in dominating fashion. After a back-and-forth battle early on, Columbia rattled off four straight points using a service ace by Atlanta Moye-McLaren and two consecutive kills from Megan Gaughn to break a 7-7 tie and take control for the remainder of the set.
With an 11-7 score in Columbia's favor, Jacksonville called a timeout to get back into the game. However it would not do the trick as the Lions stayed hot and outscored the Dolphins 14-5 to close out the set in their advantage.
The second set would turn out to be a close one with a final score of 25-22, but Columbia remained focused after earning the first two points of the set and would never go behind the rest of the way.
A kill by Sammie Strausbaugh from Courtney Kendall brought the Dolphins down by one with a score of 12-11, but that would be as close as Jacksonville would come.
Columbia answered with a 5-0 run ignited by a Gaughn kill to take a more comfortable lead, 17-11.
The Lions led by as much as seven but Jacksonville battled with a 5-1 spurt to reduce Columbia's lead to only two. Another kill by Gaughn put Columbia one point away from taking the set, but the Dolphins responded with a kill by Strausbaugh to make the score 24-22.
It would not be enough for Jacksonville as a kill from Caitlin Brenton would give the Lions the final point to take a 2-0 advantage.
Yet another neck-and-neck battle ensued early on in set three. Despite Jacksonville taking a quick 2-0 lead, the score was soon knotted at 9-9. But a 10-3 run would give Columbia the edge it needed to take the lead once and for all.
Gaughn led the Lions with nine kills to go with six digs, while Moye-McLaren contributed a game-high 12 digs to go with six kills. Savannah Fletcher was also a major factor in the win as she recorded four blocks, four digs, two aces and two kills on the day.
Recognized for her performance throughout the entire tournament, Brenton was named to the UCF All-Tournament team after totaling 27 kills, seven digs and four blocks over the weekend.
Up next, Columbia will look to remain in the win column as the Lions head down to Newark, Del. for the University of Delaware Invitational at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Lions will face Delaware at 12 p.m. and Xavier at 5 p.m. on Sept. 7, followed by a showdown with Texas A&M on Sept. 9 at 4:30 p.m.