Lady Barons end unbeaten week with tourney title

Brewton-Parker College volleyball coach Jason Bryant watched his Lady Barons lose just one game in six matches last week, completing the sweep by defending their championship in the Wesleyan College Tournament on Saturday in Macon.

The Lady Barons (16-7 overall) won the tournament by sweeping Southeastern College of Lakeland, Fla., 3-0 and atoning for the lone single game loss of the week, which occurred in their 3-1 win over Southeastern in Friday's round-robin play.

"We really played well all week," Bryant said. "We played as well as I have seen us play in two or three years."

Brewton-Parker began the tournament with a 3-0 win over Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference rival Reinhardt College in a match that does not count in the GACC standings.

After defeating Southeastern on Friday, the Lady Barons completed the round-robin with a 3-0 sweep of host Wesleyan on Saturday before they finished with their sweep in the title match against Southeastern.

The week-long run gave the Lady Barons seven straight wins overall.

Bryant's tandem of junior transfers from St. Johns River Community College in Florida -- Shanti Cortese of Tampa, Fla., and Latika Thomas of Gainesville, Fla. -- were respectively named Most Valuable Player and to the all-tournament team.

"It was all a great team effort," Bryant said. "The passing was great, the serving was great -- it was something to watch."

Bryant noted the solid, consistent play of veterans KC Cheshire and Jeni Paul, both of whom were all-GACC selections last season.

"KC Cheshire played the best I've seen her play," Bryant said of the junior middle hitter from Marietta. "She had four hitting errors all week.

"And Jeni Paul's (senior setter from Woodstock) passing was phenomenal. She averaged 10.5 assists per game for the week. Jessica Ulin (red-shirt freshman from Savannah) also played well all week."

The Lady Barons began the week with a pair of 3-0 victories, at home Sept. 30 against a tall and scrappy Lady Tiger squad from Edward Waters College (Fla.) and at Rome on Oct. 1 in a sweep of GACC rival Shorter College that improved Brewton-Parker's conference record to 3-2.

This week's action began with a GACC match Tuesday at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga., and the Lady Barons are idle until they play host to Georgia Southwestern State University on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in a 7 p.m. GACC match at the Student Activities Center.

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Brewton-Parker College senior middle hitter Jaime Murrant (No. 11) leaps up to hit a return back to Edward Waters College (Fla.) while three teammates, freshman setter Elizabeth Hinely (4), freshman outside hitter Kendall Jackson and junior setter-hitter Shanti Cortese (12) encircle the play during the second game of the Lady Barons' 3-0 match win Sept. 30 at the Student Activities Center on the Brewton-Parker campus in Mount Vernon.