August 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears wrapped up play in D.C. in a massive way as they defeated the Sacred Heart Pioneers and host Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday to win the 2019 Georgetown Classic. The Sugar Bears (4-0) concluded play on a high note as they easily handled previously undefeated Hoyas in three sets and recorded a scorching .338 hitting percentage.
UCA 3, PIONEERS 1
The Sugar Bears continued to lay the attack on their opponents this afternoon as they delivered 55 kills on the Pioneers. Senior Abbie Harry led the way for Central Arkansas with a team-high 16 kills and 13 digs while sophomores Madi Bowles and Lexi Miller contributed 13 and 11 kills. The setter pairing of senior Elizabeth Armstrong and junior Bailey Waddington continued to be a dynamic duo with 47 combined assists while junior libero Emily Doss recorded a match-high 16 digs.
SET 1 – Both teams gave the crowd an entertaining start to the match as there were six ties recorded within the first 12 points. After a Sugar Bear error made it 6-6, Miller recorded two of her 11 kills during a 6-1 run that gave her team some breathing room. The Sugar Bears timed their next run perfectly as they answered a Pioneers kill with five straight points to make it 17-10. Sacred Heart would pull within six after a Central Arkansas error, but two straight errors of their own granted Central Arkansas the 25-18 win.
SET 2 – The second set started similar to the first as the initial 16 points saw six ties. The Pioneers attempted to create breathing room of their own with a quick 3-0 spurt to make it 10-8, but the Sugar Bears responded with two kills and four straight points to regain the 12-10 lead. Central Arkansas created crucial separation from Sacred Heart with a 5-0 run a few points later to confidently lead 18-12. The Pioneers attempted to threaten with two straight points to make it 24-21, but Harry’s fifth kill of the set notched the 25-21 win.
SET 3 – The Pioneers came out of the break desperate and grabbed an early 5-1 lead. Their lead later stretched to eight off a kill, but the Sugar Bears momentarily stopped the bleeding with three straight points to make it 15-10. The Pioneers kept countering Sugar Bear responses until point 35 when Central Arkansas turned up the pressure and took five of the next six to make it 21-19. Still down 24-21, the Sugar Bears got a Harry kill and three straight Pioneer errors to take their first lead at 25-24. Central Arkansas had two chances to win but could not convert and the Pioneers took the third set 29-27 off back-to-back kills. The Sugar Bears recorded a set-high 16 kills in the comeback effort.
SET 4 – The Sugar Bears handled the loss well and responded with an early 4-1 lead. The Pioneers held their composure and took four of the next five to tie it at 5-5. After the Sugar Bears grabbed a 9-7 lead off a Harry kill, the Pioneers took their biggest lead after a 7-1 run made it 14-10. Central Arkansas immediately regained the momentum with a 5-1 run off back-to-back Sacred Heart errors to tie it at 15. After going back and forth for a handful of points, freshman Alexis Stumbough converted her second kill of the set to give the Sugar Bears the 20-19 lead. She stayed hot and converted two more kills before Waddington sent the Pioneers to the locker room with a service ace to win 25-22.
UCA 3, HOYAS 0
The Sugar Bears saved their best tournament performance for last as they converted 38 kills and a season-low 12 errors. Harry and Miller led the attack with 11 and 10 kills while Waddington contributed a team-high 16 assists. Doss continued to jumpstart the offense, providing a game-high 12 digs.
SET 1 – The match started in true championship fashion as six ties were recorded within the first 16 points. Miller helped create separation from the Hoyas with three kills amongst a 5-0 run to make it 13-8. After two straight Sugar Bear errors pulled the Hoyas within three, Bowles got red-hot and converted three straight kills to give her team a strong 17-10 lead. Georgetown had no answers for Central Arkansas as a Harry kill completed a 25-16 win.
SET 2 – The second set stayed close through the first 26 points as nine ties occurred and the Sugar Bears delivered seven kills. The Sugar Bears were finally able to pull away and go on a 6-1 run powered by five straight Hoya errors that made it 19-14. Georgetown had a small glimmer of hope after a kill pulled them within four, but Central Arkansas would close the match on a 6-0 run and take it 25-15. The Hoyas finished with 10 errors in the set.
SET 3 – The Sugar Bears jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead thanks to a Harry kill and three Hoya errors. After Harry’s second kill of the set made it 8-4, Georgetown responded with a mini 3-1 run to pull within two at 9-7. Both teams would go back and forth for the next seven points before the Sugar Bears benefitted from even more Hoya errors and went on a 6-0 run to lead 18-11. The Sugar Bear lead ballooned even further after junior Amari Mitchell delivered back-to-back kills and made it 20-11 to put the Hoyas on their heels. Georgetown tried their best to keep their crowd entertained by going on a quick 4-0 run to cut the lead to four, but they would not get any closer as Central Arkansas converted four kills and secured the championship match at 25-19.
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH MARISSA COLLINS ON DAY TWO
“I could not be prouder of the way this team played. They showed heart, growth and so much grit through the tough competition we faced.
Our defensive efforts and blocking presence were key, along with being able to run the most diverse offense we’ve had since I’ve been coaching at UCA.
Every single player contributed to our team’s success this weekend and we are really excited to build off of this tournament going into Kansas State next weekend.”
The Sugar Bears will return home and have little time to rest as they will hit the road next Wednesday for the K-State Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas. Their first match is set to come against the Omaha Mavericks on September 5 at 12 p.m.