Lady Argos volleyball remains undefeated

By Steve Likovetz
Staff writer

The University of West Florida’s Lady Argos volleyball team began the 2017 season by hosting the Hampton Inn-vitational and has stayed undefeated in three matches.

Friday morning’s matchup showed that the Lady Argos are still a force in the Gulf South Conference and look to improve last season’s record of 17-3.  Led by senior Rachel Neblett, the Lady Argos easily dispatched the Lions of USC Aiken in straight sets on Friday.

The match stayed competitive in the first set until freshman Logan Kael rattled off five consecutive service points to effectively put the first set away.  Kael would go on to collect 11 digs during the match and continues to impress as a freshman.

The second set didn’t prove challenging with the Argos easily taking it 25-18.  The third set looked like it would be a runaway, but the Lions made an impressive comeback after Coach Melissa Wolter of UWF made some substitutes.

Wolter said of the decision to substitute that she was trying to give some players an opportunity and that she wanted to see how players would step up in that situation.

Lady Argos #16 Barbara Briceno and #8 Mackenzie Chrisman go up for the block against USC Akien at Friday’s game. (Photo by Steve Likovetz)

The Lady Argos would rally to take the third set 25-21 putting away the match and improving to 2-0.  UWF would take out Southern Indiana in straight sets later Friday afternoon to improve to 3-0.

“These games are great, especially for new players to be put in situations that aren’t the easiest,” Neblett said when asked about the value of this tournament going forward into the regular season.

According to Neblett, this tournament challenges the team every single night. Things didn’t seem too challenging for the senior as she recorded 13 kills during the match and totaled 21 kills on Friday. Neblett went on to credit the Argo defense with the win and said that the defense was on point and was usually at the net with only one blocker.

“These early wins are very valuable in a confidence standpoint,” Wolter said. According to Wolter, the Lady Argos are trying to find their rhythm with a lot of new players this season.

Fortunately, Wolter and the Lady Argos seem to have found their rhythm quickly and are cruising through the tournament with relative ease. The Lady Argos continue their tournament run on Saturday with a matchup against Southwest Minnesota State.