Volleyball Stumbles in Five Sets at Lenoir-RhyneSeptember 15, 2012
HICKORY, N.C. – Despite four Trojans recording season-highs, the Anderson University volleyball team fell, 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 13-15) as Lenoir-Rhyne rallied for the five-set South Atlantic Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Shuford Gymnasiun.
Lenoir-Rhyne improved to 5-3 and 2-0 in the league with its fifth consecutive win, while Anderson (6-4, 0-2) dropped its third straight decision.
The sophomore tandem of Shannon Gillespie and Hailey Pittman each recorded season-highs with 26 kills and 18 kills, respectively, while sophomore Meghan Cautero handed out a season-high 55 assists. Sophomore Alix Hooker led a balanced defensive effort with 32 digs, with five other Trojans posting double-figure dig efforts. Senior Tiffany Rowe notched three total blocks on the afternoon.
The Trojans jumped out to a two-set lead behind impressive attacking percentages, rallying from a 13-11 deficit and snapping a 16-16 tie, the eighth of the set, to gradually pull away on the strength of a 7-1 run to build a 23-17 advantage. Sophomore Kalie Endres provided the serves during the outburst and also handed out the assist on freshman Victoria Wehrmann’s set-deciding kill.
AU again rallied in the second set, battling back after trailing 14-10 to take a 19-16 edge behind a 9-2 surge. Rowe added three of her eight kills on the afternoon during the run that forced an L-R timeout. The Trojans maintained the lead the rest of the way, claiming the set on a kill from Pittman.
The Trojans scored the first seven points of the third set, with Pittman notching three consecutive aces, but the Bears refused to go away and chipped away at AU’s lead until tying the set at 17 apiece. The Trojans responded with three straight points to regain a brief 20-17 lead, but Lenoir-Rhyne scored eight of the final 11 points to take the set.
The Bears took an early lead in the fourth set and never trailed en route to building an 11-point advantage on two occasions, while AU took an early 3-0 lead in the fifth and deciding set that featured eight ties. Neither team was able to build more than that three-point edge, with L-R snapping a 13-13 score with the final two points.
Anderson travels to Lander for a nonconference matchup with the Bearcats on Tuesday, closing out its three-game road trip. First-serve at Horne Arena is slated for 7 p.m.