St. Andrews volleyball splits weekend finale, heads to AAC tourney

By: ByTroy Baranik - SAU Sports Information Director

PEMBROKE — The St. Andrews University women’s volleyball team split their non-conference tri-meet over the weekend ousting Div. II Virginia State in four sets before falling 3-2 to UNC-Pembroke in their regular season finale.

SAU 3, VSU 1

Virginia State took the first set from the Lady Knights 25-19 on 10 kills. St. Andrews squeaked out a 26-24 win in game two on 15 kills despite Virginia State had 16 kills and hit .244. The Lady Knights dominated the final two sets 25-18 and 25-15 on 22 total kills to take the match in four.

Senior Tessa Smith led the Lady Knights with 14 kills along with 20 digs to record her 16th double-double of the season. Sophomore setter Shalia Powell led the way with 34 assists along with 12 digs — her 14th double-double of the season — two kills, and a team-best three aces.

Defensively, freshman libero Karina Lozada led the team with 22 digs along with four assists and an ace while senior Austin Payne tied for the team lead in aces with three while adding seven digs.


St. Andrews took the first set from UNC-Pembroke 25-20 on 14 kills before the Lady Braves won the next two sets 25-19 and 25-23 on a total of 26 kills holding St. Andrews to 16 kills. The Lady Knights rallied to control the fourth set, 25-19 on 14 kills hitting .150 before recording nine kills in the final set to fall 15-13 to the Lady Braves.

Pembroke jumped out to a 3-0 lead before St. Andrews rallied to make it five all. Pembroke stretched its lead to 11-7 before St. Andrews used clutch kills from Tessa Smith and Lyndsey Wagner and a big block from Kiah Cheatham and Andrea Navarro to make it 14-13.

Wagner led the Lady Knights with 15 kills and hitting .240 with two digs, two assists and a block. Smith added 13 kills with 17 digs for her 17th double-double of the season. Smith has recorded at least 20 digs in four of her last six games and now has eight straight games with double-digit digs.

Cheatham registered seven kills and no errors on 23 attacks to hit .304 while adding a team-best six blocks and five digs.

Karina Lozada added a team-high 21 digs defensively with seven assists, two aces, and two kills.

St. Andrews finished their regular season with a 20-9 record, their third straight season with at least 20 wins, while UNCP goes to 6-24 and Virginia State falls to 9-15.

No. 4 St. Andrews headed to the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament in Kingsport, Tenn. on Wednesday to battle No. 5 Point University (Ga.) in the AAC quarterfinals.

ByTroy Baranik

SAU Sports Information Director