Brevard, N.C. - Senior setter Jami Perry left the court in the third game to a rousing ovation which got even louder as she retook the court to serve match point in the Thursday night match between Brevard College and visiting North Greenville University. Even though the Tornados did not get the point on Perry’s serve, Brevard clinched the match two points later to sweep the season series against the Crusaders, 25-12, 25-18, and 25-16.
Defeating a team twice in a season is a tough task; taking a third game from that same team is near impossible, but Coach Brenda Skeffington’s squad proved up to the task as they improve to 14-16 on the season, 3-13 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Crusaders never really seemed in the game as they fell to 4-33.
The Tornados came out firing on Senior Day as they jumped to a quick 6-0 lead behind two straight kills by pre-season 2nd team All-SAC member junior middle hitter Brooke Seaman and a serving ace by freshman defensive specialist Lindsey Rogers. North Greenville came back behind the serve by sophomore Melissa Ragsdale to bring the game within two before a kill by junior outside hitter Chelsey Trojan stopped the Crusader rally in its tracks. The Tornados rallied behind Seaman who recorded six kills in the set in winning 25-12.
The second set was similar to the first as the Tornados built a 10-2 lead behind the serves of sophomore libero Rebecca Schoonover and junior defensive specialist Cori Emory. After the teams swapped service errors, an ace by Perry put the Tornados up 13-4. The Crusaders unable to bring the game back within seven points as Brevard rode three straight kills by junior outside hitter Christin Johnston to take the second set, 25-18.
Johnston continued to have the hot hand to start off the third set as she put the Tornados up 6-1. Seaman added two aces of her own as the team recorded nine for the evening. As the Crusaders mounted a short comeback and started to build momentum, freshman middle hitter Ashlie Morrison stopped them in their tracks with a thunderous kill to put the Tornados up 16-6.
With the score at 19-7, Perry came out of the game to a standing ovation from the crowd. Coach Skeffington put her back in the game to serve it out with the score at 22-13. Even though Perry was unable to serve out, the Tornados took the victory 25-16 to sweep the match.
The Tornados were led by Seaman who recorded 14 kills on 20 attempts on her way to recording a 70% kill percentage. Trojan added five kills of her own to go with her team-high 11 digs for the match. Perry contributed to the win with 26 assists.
Perry, a native of Greer, S.C. and the lone senior of the volleyball team, finished up her home collegiate career with a win. In her freshman year she was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Freshman of the year and was named to the All-Conference team as she recorded 1,372 assists, the second most assists in a single season in Brevard history. As a sophomore she won the NCAA Leadership award for her contributions both on and off the volleyball court. When her career ends, Perry will finish as the all-time career assist leader at Brevard College. She currently sits at 4,565 assists in her career, over 2,000 more than Megan Kroeger who resides in second.
The Tornados hit the road on Thursday as they travel to Mars Hill, N.C. for the first round of the South Atlantic Conference. Brevard, coming in as the 8th seed, will take on number one Wingate University at 2:30 p.m.