Leading Stories

Aaron Jacobs
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida volleyball team closed out its season with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-13) sweep at home over the Choctaws of Mississippi College on Saturday night.

The Argonauts (24-6, 17-3 GSC) never trailed in any of the three sets, capping a seven-game winning streak to end the regular season. The team finished second in the final Gulf South Conference standings, one game behind Shorter University, who will host the conference tournament next weekend.

“You want to carry as much momentum as you can into postseason,” UWF head coach Melissa Wolter said. “That was our discussion in the locker room before we came out … take nothing for granted. That’s what great teams do.”

The Argos jumped to a quick lead in the first set but allowed the Choctaws to pull within two points, 19-17. UWF then scored six straight points to take the first set, 25-17. The second set was closer, as the Choctaws trailed 14-11 midway through but the Argos closed it out with an 11-1 run, winning 25-12.

Senior middle blocker Sarah Scott led the Argos in kills with 15 on the night, for an efficient .481 kill percentage.

“Sarah Scott’s been so much fun to coach,” Wolter said. “It’s fun for a senior to go out on a high note that way and to be able to leave their mark on the record books.

It was a special night for Scott, who also led the team with four blocks, moving her into third all-time in career blocks at UWF with 292.

“It’s a cool feeling knowing I left my mark here at UWF,” Scott said. “It’s fun finishing out this year with an accomplish like that.”

Freshman outside hitter Katy Kuhlmeier also had a big night, scoring 14 kills to go along with a team-high 11 digs and two blocks. Overall, the team converted 51 of 106 kill attempts, for a .406 final kill percentage.

The Choctaws (5-25, 0-20 GSC) were led by middle blocker Kasie Lennon, who converted 4 of 11 kills to go along with a team-high four blocks. The loss marked the end of a tough first season in the GSC for Mississippi College who finished conference play without a win.

The win caps off a strong season for the Argonauts, assisted by the efforts of Scott, whose 89 blocks led the team for the second time in her three years at UWF, and sophomore outside hitter Cora Bidlack, who led the team with 230 kills.

The team clinched a second seed in the conference tournament and a first-round bye. The Argos will face the winner of the opening round match between sixth-seed Alabama-Huntsville and third-seed Valdosta State.

“The field is so diverse right now,” Wolter said. “It’s really gonna come down to which team plays well while they’re there. [The team] is playing with a lot of energy and a lot of passion right now and that’s what it’s gonna take to be able to go up there and make a run at the championship.”

The Argos will play next Saturday at 1:30 PM CST in the GSC tournament semifinal round in Rome, Georgia.