Montevallo wins CBU volleyball tourney

The O’Brien era got off to a quick start in Memphis, Tenn., over the weekend, as the University of Montevallo volleyball team (3-1) captured its first tournament title of 2008.

The Falcons defeated Kentucky Wesleyan (1-2) 25-12, 25-20, 25-20 before knocking off host Christian Brothers 25-18, 25-18, 26-24. Saturday’s championship match was a rematch of Friday’s contest in which Christian Brothers defeated Montevallo 3-2.

On Friday, UM earned a dominating 3-0 victory over West Liberty State before falling to host Christian Brothers University 3-2. The win was the first at Montevallo for new head coach Katie O’Brien, who was hired in the spring.

Juniors Katy Handrick and Katie Johnson, an Alabaster native were named to the All-Tournament team while junior setter Joy Peschman (Tempe, Arizona) was named tournament MVP.

“This was the first time we really played as a team,” said head coach Katie O’Brien. “Closing out that tight third game against Christian Brothers should really build our confidence going into the rest of the season.”

The Falcons blew by Kentucky Wesleyan as Peschman recorded her second-straight double-double dishing out 30 assists and picking up 11 digs. She also served well picking up six service aces. Handrick led the offense with 12 kills and a .385 attack percentage while sophomore Rebecca Dowd and senior Lauren Tortorici had nine and eight kills, respectively.

Lauren Tortorici also led the team in digs with 12 while Peschman and sophomore Cami Johnson each had 11.

In match two the Falcons were looking to reverse their fates from the night before and did just that by defeating CBU 3-0. Johnson, Handrick and Tortorici all had double-digit kills in the victory with Handrick leading the way with 13. Handrick and Tortorici each recorded double-doubles with 10 and 16 digs, respectively.

Peschman made it three-straight matches with a double-double with her 39 assists and 15 digs. The blocking came up huge in match two as Lauren Tortorici had six and sister Monika Tortorici and Carson Anderson each chipped in four.

Sophomore Kara Zawisza led the team in digs with 17.

Zawisza became the first Falcon of the season to join the 30-dig club with 32 digs against Christian Brothers on Friday. With her 32 digs, Zawisza will be listed on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Web site in the 30-dig honor roll.

The Falcons will open up play at home today at 7 p.m. as they host the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras.

UM will host its annual Coca-Cola Volleyball Classic Friday-Saturday, Sept. 5-6. In the tournament, UM will take on Fort Valley State University, the University of Arkansas-Monticello and Stillman College.