Volleyball Drops Five-Set Thriller to Lincoln MemorialSeptember 21, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – Sophomore outside hitter Shannon Gillespie posted her sixth double-double of the season with 17 kills and 23 digs, but visiting Lincoln Memorial outlasted Anderson 3-2 (15-25, 31-29, 22-25, 25-16, 15-11) in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action Friday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
With each team looking to garner its first SAC win of the early league campaign, Lincoln Memorial (8-5, 1-1 SAC) snapped a two-game skid to garner the victory, while Anderson slipped to 7-5 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Gillespie shared game-high honors with her 17 kills, while adding the 23 digs defensively. Sophomore Hailey Pittman chipped in 13 kills, with freshman Victoria Wehrmann adding 10 kills and three block assists. Sophomore Meghan Cautero handed out a match-high 50 assists and Alix Hooker led all players with 25 digs. Sophomore Kelley Lacey posted 10 digs and six kills on the night. Senior Tiffany Rowe, who is fifth all-time in the school record books with 299 career blocks, tallied six on the night and stands 24 out of fourth place.
Four Lady Railsplitters reached double-figure kills, with seniors Jennifer Drumm and Blaire Fowler posting 17 and 15, respectively. Fowler also led LMU defensively with 19 digs.
The Trojans jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first set and never trailed on the strength of a .314 attack percentage. Pittman and Gillespie sparked the outburst with two kills apiece and the Trojans extended their advantage to 19-4 behind a 7-1 run. LMU scored four unanswered points late, but was unable to get any closer than the 10-point final margin.
The Lady Railsplitters built a 16-10 lead in the second set, but AU reeled off five unanswered points to climb back into contention with Gillespie sandwiching a pair of kills around a service ace from sophomore Kalie Endres. Anderson eventually knotted the score at 20-20 on a kill by Pittman and took its first lead of the set at 23-22 on an LMU service error. From that point, the set featured seven ties and seven lead changes before LMU claimed the set with kills from Drumm and Brittany Pugh.
The Trojans bounced back to claim the third set on the strength of a .300 attack percentage, snapping an 8-8 tie with a kill from Wehrmann and a service ace from Cautero. The score was knotted on four more occasions, with AU scoring three unanswered points and winning the frame on a kill from Gillespie.
Lincoln Memorial evened the match with a decisive win in the fourth set, jumping out to a 10-3 lead and eventually pushing out to a double-digit advantage. Despite a late 4-0 run by the Trojans, LMU held on for the 25-16 win.
The Lady Railsplitters jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the fifth and deciding set, and while the Trojans rallied within 12-10 on a Wehrmann kill they could get no closer, as LMU claimed the set with a kill from Fowler and an ace from Casey Mense.
Anderson plays host to Carson-Newman Saturday afternoon, with first-serve slated for 2 p.m. at the Abney Center.