CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Senior Aubrey Kirven recorded her fourth “double-double” of the year to lead the Towson University volleyball team to a sweep of its two matches at the Hilton University 49er Invitational on Saturday. The Tigers (11-3) captured their third tournament title of the season with wins over Kennesaw State and Charlotte.
Kirven was named the tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by junior Katy Buck and senior I’ishah Keliikoa.
“I thought we did some nice things in this tournament,” said Towson coach Bruce Atkinson. “This should help us prepare for conference play. We look forward to changing our focus to one team at a time from this point forward.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in the first set against Kennesaw State on a kill by senior Karolina Sawaniewicz. Towson increased its lead in the set to 23-15 on Sawaniewicz’s fifth kill of the set. The Tigers sealed the 25-19 set win on a kill from junior Dayane Van Ass. Towson scored 10 of the first 17 points in the second set to take an early lead. A kill from senior Alysha McCreary, increased the Towson advantage to 19-14. A kill from Sawaniewicz gave Towson a 25-17 set win and a 2-0 advantage in the match. The Tigers took an early lead in the third set as a bad set by Kennesaw State gave Towson a 17-9 lead. Towson closed out the 25-14 set win on a block by Van Ass and Keliikoa.
The Tigers hit .368 for the match after hitting over .400 in the first and third sets. Buck led the Tigers following a “double-double” performance. She had 12 kills and hit .500 with no hitting errors in 24 opportunities. Buck finished with 10 digs in the match. Sawaniewicz led all players with 16 kills and seven digs while Van Ass contributed 10 kills. Kirven posted 46 assists and four digs while sophomore Paige Sekerak finished with 15 digs.
Turea Jones led Kennesaw State with eight kills and nine digs.
Towson got out to a quick start against Charlotte as a kill from Keliikoa gave the visitors a 16-6 lead in the first set. The Tigers extended their advantage to 23-11 before a kill from Keliikoa sealed the 25-13 set win. The second set needed extra points to be decided as there were 12 ties and four lead changes in the set. Towson trailed 21-19 in the set before battling back to tie the action at 25-25. Charlotte got back-to-back kills to post a 27-25 win, which tied the match at 1-1.
Towson trailed in the third set, 21-18 but battled back to tie the set at 22-22 on a kill from senior Marta Machos. Machos had four straight kills to close out the set and give Towson a 25-22 victory. The Tigers found themselves down in the third set 22-18. Van Ass and Machos combined for kills on five of the next six points to tie the match at 23-23. A block by the Tigers and an attack error by Charlotte gave Towson a 25-23 win and a 3-1 victory in the match.
Keliikoa, Machos and McCreary led the Tigers with 11 kills each in the contest. Machos hit .667 in her two sets played while Keliikoa hit .474 for the contest. Kirven finished with 52 assists and 13 digs for her fourth “double-double” of the year. Sekerak added 13 digs while Buck had 12 digs and eight kills.
Amanda Videmsek led Charlotte with 18 kills and six block assists in the contest.
After nine straight matches on the road, the Tigers are back in action when they return to the Towson Center on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Towson hosts La Salle at 7 p.m. that night.