Katie Onushko, outside hitter for VSU, racked up 14 kills to help the Blazers rout West Georgia 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-17), in Tuesday night’s Gulf South Conference opener at the Complex.
The Blazers came into the GSC opener with a slight chip on their collective shoulder, ready to end a two game losing skid from last weekend’s tournament.
The UWG Wolves failed to beat their conference rivals at home and haven’t since their meeting back in 2007.
VSU offensively was too much for UWG to handle, finishing with a .263 hitting percentage compared to the Wolves .083.
Outside hitters Onushko and Chelsea Logan ended the game with a combined 20 kills. UWG as a team only produced 28 total.
VSU Head Coach Sia Poyer is thrilled to see Onushko finally getting her time to shine after being pushed out of the spotlight in the past two seasons by previous players Irene Hammon and Ruthie King.
“This is something she has been looking forward to,” Poyer said. “She’s a horse. We expect her to carry us offensively.”
She has been given a helping hand from her freshman setter, Ashley LaLa, who finished Tuesday night’s match with 33 assists.
LaLa has already impressed teammates and coaches with her volleyball IQ and remarkable court vision.
“She’s a baller,” Poyer said. “She is basically the quarterback of the team. A lot of decision making goes through her.”
Onushko is excited to have a skillful player like Lala at such a critical position.
“She’s doing a great job,” Onushko said. “It’s awesome because I love hitting and no matter what, where I am, I hope to get set.”
On the defensive side, VSU did a suburb job of keeping UWG’s returning starters, outside hitter Emily Reul and middle blocker Mary Kruger, from getting into a comfortable groove on offense.
Kruger, who came into the contest averaging .245 hitting per game, finished with a low .062 percentage against the Blazers.
Tuesday night’s victory puts the Blazers at 8-4 on the season.
They will attempt to go 2-0 in conference play when they travel to Huntsville, Ala., to play University of Alabama-Huntsville Friday night.