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WVU hosts Syracuse for a shot at NIVC semifinals

Created on:   Sun, Dec 3, 2017   7:00 PM

Last modified:   Sun, Dec 3, 2017   7:00 PM

Submitted to The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — WVU plays for its first National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) semifinals berth in a 6 p.m. match on Dec. 4, against Syrcuse, at the Coliseum.

“I’m looking forward to the match,” WVU coach Reed Sunahara said. “Syracuse has a great team and great players.

“Our players are looking forward to it, and we’re excited to be in this position making a postseason run.”

Today’s winner faces Mississippi (20-14) at a site to be determined in the semifinals, Tuesday-Saturday.

Ole Miss advanced with a 3-0 victory over Georgia, on Sunday. The set scores were 25-21, 25-11 and 25-19.

The Mountaineers (20-12) moved on to the third round with a 3-0 win over Temple, on Wednesday, at the Coliseum.

WVU took the victory in set scores of 25-23, 25-18 and 25-12. Sophomore outside hitter Payton Caffrey and senior outside hitter Morgan Montgomery led the Mountaineers with 12 kills each, as Montgomery hit a team-high .370.

The Mountaineers hit .321, with 45 kills on 109 swings, to go along with seven service aces and seven team blocks.

Syracuse (22-13) advanced with a 3-0 victory over Towson, on Friday. The scores were 25-22, 25-22 and 25-23.

Santita Ebangwese finished with a match-high 16 kills and six blocks. Amber Witherspoon totaled 11 kills, with four blocks, while Anastassiya Gorelina added eight kills. The Orange hit .272, with 46 kills on 113 attacks, and 11 total team blocks.

The NIVC title match is Dec. 12, at a site to be determined, with a live broadcast available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

WVU holds a 15-12 edge in the all-time series with Syracuse and is 6-5 against the Orange at home.

The last meeting was Oct. 29, 2011, as the Mountaineers swept Syracuse, 3-0, at the Coliseum.

WVU and Syracuse’s lone common opponent this season was Big 12 Conference foe Kansas State.

The Mountaineers swept Kansas State for the first time in program history. The Orange also knocked off the Wildcats on the road, 3-1, on Sept. 1.

Tickets for tonight’s match are $6 for general admission, $5 for students and $4 for youth and seniors.

WVU students are admitted free with a valid I.D. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are $3 each.

Tickets are available by visiting wvugame.com, calling 1-800-988-4263 or at the Mountaineer ticket office, at the Coliseum’s gold gate.