Trojans Drop Five-Set Thriller to Mars HillSeptember 28, 2012
MARS HILL, N.C. – Despite four players with double-figure kills, the Anderson volleyball team opened a three-match road swing with a narrow 3-2 (25-23, 21-25, 13-25, 27-25, 15-17) setback to Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference play Friday night at Stanford Arena.
Anderson (8-6, 1-4 SAC) has dropped two of its last three, while Mars Hill (9-5, 3-2 SAC) won its third consecutive decision and stayed perfect at home on the season.
AU sophomore Shannon Gillespie notched her seventh double-double with 20 kills and 12 digs, while fellow sophomore Hailey Pittman added 14 kills. Freshman Victoria Wehrmann posted 13 kills, with senior Tiffany Rowe chipping in 11 kills and adding three block assists. Sophomore Meghan Cautero handed out 54 assists on the night, with Alix Hooker recording a team-high 24 assists. Sophomore Kelley Lacey posted 23 digs.
Marissa Wixson paced the Lions with a double-double, putting away 19 kills and coming away with 14 digs defensively. Toni Cole added 14 kills, four aces, a dig, and three solo blocks. Hannah Wilson added her second-consecutive double-double with 24 assists and 11 digs. Maggie Murphy led all players with 28 digs. Christen Nicholson added 14 digs for the Lions.
The first set featured four ties and neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead, with Anderson tasking the first frame behind an impressive .378 hitting percentage. The Trojans snapped a 10-10 tie with back-to-back points, the first coming courtesy of a service ace from freshman Kim Adkins. Cautero followed with her lone kill of the contest, giving AU a two-point edge. The Trojans pushed out to a 21-17 cushion and held off the Lions down the stretch, with Pittman posting the final point on a kill.
The Lions fought back to take the middle two sets, edging out to a 16-11 lead in the second frame before AU went on a 6-1 run by taking advantage of Mars Hill errors and knotting the score at 17 apiece. The score was tied twice more, the final time at 20-20 on an ace from Cautero, but the Lions scored three straight points to take control of the set.
Mars Hill recorded a .357 hitting percentage in the third set and snapped an early 3-3 tie en route to building a double-digit lead late in the frame and taking the win to take a 2-1 lead in sets.
The Trojans answered by dominating the middle of the fourth set, going on a 9-3 run to turn a tight 8-6 lead into a 17-9 cushion. Rowe ignited the outburst with back-to-back kills, while Gillespie also added a pair of kills. But Mars Hill responded with a 16-7 run of its own and held off set point three times as the Lions took a 25-24 lead. But the Trojans evened the set on a clutch kill from Pittman and closed the set with back-to-back kills from Wehrmann.
The fifth and final set featured eight ties, with the Trojans taking a 14-13 lead on a Gillespie kill, but the Lions’ Wixson extended the set with a kill. The two teams then traded points on a Trojan attack error and a kill by Gillespie to tie the score at 15-15. Another kill by Wixson and a block by Macomson and Biediger earned the win for Mars Hill.
Anderson continues the road swing at Tusculum on Saturday, with first-serve versus the Pioneers slated for noon.