Privateers caps undefeated New Orleans Invitational with four-set win over Western Illinois

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

UNO Volleyball

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Privateers (5-4) had 10 blocks and persevered through tough spots in a 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 18-25, 25-15) win over the Western Illinois Leathernecks (4-6) in the New Orleans Invitational on Saturday at the Lakefront Arena.

For the tournament, the Privateers went undefeated. It was the first time New Orleans went unbeaten in a home tournament since 2015.

Sophia Ewalefo concluded a fantastic weekend with 14 kills and 21 digs for her second double-double of the tournament to earn MVP honors. Ewalefo had 44 kills, 39 digs, six total blocks and five aces for the weekend.

Sydney Gott also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Sydney finished with eight total blocks and had an 11-kill performance, which was a new season best in the tournament finale against Western Illinois.

Rita Zecchin earned Libero of the Tournament after starting at the position all three matches. Zecchin had 44 digs on the weekend in 11 sets.

In the fourth and decisive set, the Privateers raced out to a 9-4 advantage. Trinity Jackson had kills on consecutive rallies at the end of the run. From there, New Orleans was on cruise control in statistically their most efficient set of the day.

The Privateers hit .387 with 13 kills and just one error in 31 attempts. Defensively, they held the Leathernecks to a .146 attack percentage on the day.

The Privateers hit a big run early in the first set to gain separation on the scoreboard. Leading 5-4, New Orleans went on an 8-1 run to extend their advantage to seven. New Orleans never looked back in a set where they hit .333 compared to a -.059 attack percentage by the visitors.

New Orleans had to battle from an early deficit in the second set. The Privateers did not take their first lead until 16-15. From that point it was a battle that saw five ties from that point. New Orleans trailed 23-22 but an Ewalefo kill and two blocks helped finish off the set and gave the Privateers a 2-0 lead.

Western Illinois won the third set behind the strength of an 8-3 run to start the set. Brittany Wulf and Hailey Sperling combined for four kills in that span.

Kamryn Scroggins piled up 46 assists on top of nine digs and two blocks. Ewalefo (14), Gott (11) and Jackson (11) all reached double figures in kills. Mauri Carver finished with seven kills and was in on seven blocks. Chandler Lee finished with nine kills on the day.

Ewalefo led the way in digs with 21. Zecchin had 18 digs and Micah Hall posted 15. Scroggins and Ewalefo each had two service aces.

MVP-Sophia Ewalefo (New Orleans)
Libero of the Tournament-Rita Zecchin (New Orleans)
Xaria Taylor (Southern)
Elizabeth Ziegler (Western Illinois)
Sydney Gott (New Orleans)
Kaitlyn Scroggins (Texas Southern)
Kaitlyn Gil (Lamar)

The Privateers will take part in the UTA Classic in Arlington next Friday and Saturday where they will face UT-Arlington, Lamar and Prairie View A&M.

Fans are encouraged to follow @PrivateersVB on Twitter, @PrivateersVB on Instagram, like /PrivateersVB on Facebook and subscribe to the PrivateerAthletics YouTube channel.

  • < PREV De La Salle stages dramatic second half rally to overcome Holy Cross
  • NEXT > Gold Nuggets complete RRAC sweep at Southwest and extend streaks