App State Sports News..... (2016-11-14 15:39:58)

Volleyball Inks Four for 2017....BOONE, N.C. –– Appalachian State University volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro has announced the addition of four student-athletes for the 2017 season on Sunday.


Emma Reilly (Chicago, Ill./Mother McAuley), Kara Spicer (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial), Lexi Kohut (Gross Pointe Park, Mich./Gross Pointe South) and Jenna Pitzer (Franklinton, N.C./South Granville).

“This is a great class for App State volleyball and we’re excited to get them in the gym in August,” said Ginipro. “All four will fill some holes that we had this year and work to help us get back on track towards a conference championship.”

Emma Reilly
5-6 • Libero
Chicago, Ill. • Mother McAuley

Emma Reilly will join the Mountaineers after earning three letters at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago. Reilly was named GCAC all-conference as a senior and was named MVP of the Autumn Fest tournament. Most recently, she helped Mother McAuley win an IHSA state championship. She played club volleyball for Michio Chicago Volleyball Academy. Reilly plans on majoring in communication science and disorders.

Ginipro’s Comments: “I think we’ve done a good job of recruiting great defensive players over the past few years and Emma is no exception. She plays for the #1 ranked high school in the country and just won a state championship this weekend. She has great touch on the ball and will bolster our ball control group right away.”

Kara Spicer
6-2 • Middle Blocker
Peoria, Ariz. • Centennial 

Kara Spicer will join Appalachian State after earning volleyball letters at Centennial High School. Spicer was named Most Improved in 2015 and in 2016 was named team captain. She was named all-district and all-region Player of the Year in 2016. She led the team with the most kills and most blocks. Earned 2015 all-state honors. She was a member of Arizona Revolution club volleyball.

Ginipro’s Comments: “Kara is going to be a physical middle blocker for us and I don’t think she has come close to peaking as an athlete yet. She just won the Arizona 5A State Championship on Wednesday night, and is the daughter of a football coach, so she knows what it takes to work at a high level. We need to be more physical in the middle and Kara fits that mold perfectly.”

Alexis Kohut
6-0 • Outside Hitter
Grosse Point Park, Mich. • Grosse Pointe South

Alexis Kohut comes to the Mountaineers after earning four letters at Grosse Pointe South. Kohut earned second-team all-state, first-team all-region and first-team all-conference in 2016, while collecting all-region and all-conference honors from 2013-2015, including honorable mention all-state in 2015.

While at Grosse Point South, Kohut collected 1,675 kills, 569 blocks and 632 digs in her career to go along with an 88.0 percent serve percentage. Her team advanced to regionals three years in a row and made it to the state quarterfinals one year.

Kohut played for Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy and was named to the 2015 AVCA Phenom list and the 2016 Under Armour All-American Watch List. She plans to major in exercise sports science.

Ginipro’s Comments: “Lexi is an outside hitter who I think will compete for playing time right away. She has a good jump, a great armswing and is a fierce competitor who I’m looking forward to having in our gym. Right now, we’re looking at her as a scoring option on the right side, but she could also play on the left as well.”

Jenna Pitzer
6-0 • Middle Hitter
Franklinton, N.C. • South Granville

Jenna Pitzer joins the Mountaineers after lettering at South Granville High School. Pitzer earned all-conference and all-metro as a junior. She has served as team captain her final two seasons and was named team MVP as a junior. She has collected 1,000 kills, 338 blocks, 108 aces and has a hitting percentage of 40.7 and a kill percentage of 59.4 in 377 sets. Plays for Pura Vida club team.

Plans to major in exercise science and eventually work with a professional sports team.

Ginipro’s Comments: “Jenna is a good athlete who has the potential to play all three front row positions for us. She’s exciting because, once she gets used to the speed of the college game, she will be a very versatile attacker for us.”


Fifth Set Dooms Mountaineers in Season Finale

BOONE, N.C. –– In its season finale, Appalachian State University volleyball dropped its 13th five-set match of the season in a 3-2 (21-25, 27-25, 28-26, 16-25, 11-15) to Troy on Sunday afternoon inside the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (4-25, 2-14) were led offensively by Jenna Talbert (Orange City, Fla./University) who tallied 14 kills. Melissa McMath (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) also finished in double-figures with 11.

Ashlyn Brown (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/New Mexico State) ran the offense with 45 assists on the afternoon. Defensively, Kati Stammen (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) tallied a team-high 18 digs.

Appalachian fell behind midway through the opening set 17-12 after a 7-2 run from the Trojans (10-23, 4-12 Sun Belt) opened up some breathing room for Troy. The Mountaineers would close to within one at 22-21, but three-straight points in favor of the Trojans gave Troy a 25-21 win.

Needing to even things up, the Mountaineers battled back in the second set and led 13-6 - forcing a Troy timeout. Troy would answer with a 7-1 run to knot things up at 14-14 with both teams trading leads until App State scored consecutive points to go up 20-18.

The Mountaineers pushed their lead to four at 23-19, but the Trojans fought back again and even took a 25-24 lead. However, back-to-back kills fromAshton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and a kill from Amanda Krahl (Pearland, Texas/St. Agnes Academy) rallied the Mountaineers to a 27-25 set two win.

With momentum on their side, the Mountaineers weren’t the ones to come out extremely strong in the third. Tied 11-11, Troy would instigate a 9-2 run to lead big 20-13 late in the set. A 7-0 run keyed by an Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) kill and capped by a kill from Talbert tied the score at 20-20.

The Trojans would lead by two points on two occasions before App State would find a way to tie the score twice and take a 26-25 lead. Tied 26-26, a Trojan service error and a kill from Longley sealed the set for App State to give the Apps a 2-1 match lead.

In the fourth, both teams battled to a 13-13 tie midway through. A 7-0 run from Troy would put the Trojans up 20-13, much like the third set, but this time Troy would finish off the Mountaineers 25-16 to force a fifth set.

Prior to Sunday, the Mountaineers were 0-12 in matches decided in five sets this season. In the early going, both teams kept it close and were tied 8-8. Appalachian overcame a 10-8 deficit to knot the score at 10-10, but a 5-1 run clinched the match for Troy.


Murray Named All-Tournament

CHICAGO - For her performance over the weekend against No. 21 DePaul and Gardner-Webb, sophomore guard Q. Murray (Baltimore, Md./George Mason) was named to the Maggie Dixon Classic All-Tournament Team.

Murray led the Apps in scoring (12.5 ppg), field goal percentage (43.5%), steals (2.5) and 3-pointers made with three. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, Murray played well in her first weekend of eligibility. Murray scored in double figures in both games including a career-high 14 points and five swipes in the 72-67 win over GWU.

The guard started in both games and played a team-high 33 minutes against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Overall, Murray scored 23 of her 25 points in the second over two contests while shooting 60 percent from the field. Against GWU, she scored 12 points in the second half on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor.
Murray and the Mountaineers will look to keep the momentum going on Thursdaywith a 7 p.m. contest against Liberty on the road.

Maggie Dixon All-Tournament Team

MVP: Jessica January, DePaul
Ashton Millender, DePaul
Jacqui Grant, DePaul
Imani Johnson, UAB
Miyah Barnes, UAB
Q Murray, Appalachian State
Tierra Huntsman, Gardner-Webb
Photo Courtesy: Future Mountaineers, App State Athletics