CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Anderson University volleyball team wrapped up the weekend with a pair of convincing wins at the Queens Fall Classic, as the Trojans swept Barton, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-13) and blanked Converse, 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-13), Saturday afternoon at the Levine Center.
"It's always a good day when you can get two wins and everyone sees the court," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "It's so important for everyone to experience a real match experience early in the seasons. You just can't duplicate those emotions in practice. After a good preseason, our attention now turns to conference play. We will take a day off on Sunday and then get back to training on Monday."
Anderson improved to 7-1 on the season, while Barton fell to 1-6 on the season with its second straight loss and Converse dropped to 2-6 with its third loss in four outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior outside hitter Jayln Knight narrowly missed a double-double with a team-high nine kills and 11 digs, while freshman right-side hitter Liliana Kinder added six kills and four block assists. Sophomore right-side hitter Regan Duty notched five kills and four block assists. Junior setter Emily Conlin recorded a match-high 29 assists and nine digs. Freshman libero Meghan DeVaux posted a team-high 13 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Anderson quickly jumped on the preseason Conference Carolinas favorite, as the Trojans took advantage of Bulldog miscues and vaulted out to an 8-1 lead and never trailed, with Duty also knocking down a pair of early kills.
After the Trojans extended their lead to seven on two occasions, the Bulldogs chipped away and climbed within four twice before AU built a double-digit,20-10, advantage behind Duty's four kills and a stout defense that held Barton to a -0.074 hitting percentage.
AU claimed its largest lead (22-11) before Barton posted three straight points. But freshman Maya Learmonth helped squelch any Bulldog rally by posting a pair of late kills, as the Trojans notched the double-digit win.
The Trojans again struck early, garnering a quick 5-2 edge behind two kills from Knight.
After AU built a 9-5 lead, the Bulldogs trimmed the advantage to just a single point twice, but Knight slowed Barton with another kill and the Trojans took advantage of a pair of Bulldog errors and when sophomore Hailee Wilhelm and Duty combined on a block, the Trojans had a 15-10 lead.
The Trojans steadily pulled out to its largest lead of the frame, at 21-14, and maintained at least a four-point lead the rest of the way, with Wilhelm capping the win with her second kill.
With Conlin serving, the Trojans scored the first five points of the frame and never looked back. Behind Kinder's three kills and Knight's six digs, the Trojans maintained the advantage throughout and built a late double-digit cushion.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Grube, Learmonth and junior outside hitter Kathryn Hughes each shared match-high honors with 10 kills apiece, with Grube and Hughes also adding three block assists apiece. Conlin dished out a match-best 28 assists, while Knight added three service aces and seven digs. DeVaux led all players with 14 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Behind a pair of kills each from freshman Hannah Worsham and junior Kathryn Hughes and a stellar .875 hitting percentage early, the Trojans pushed out to a quick 9-2 lead and claimed a double-digit, 16-6, advantage on an error by the Valkyries.
The lead remained in double figures, while AU notched a .600 hitting percentage in the win. Hughes and Learmonth each finished the frame with five kills apiece.
The Trojans trailed by two early in the second set before a kill by freshman Neely Shugart gave the Trojans a brief 7-6 edge, while three consecutive kills by Grube snapped an 8-8 deadlock and gave AU a lead it would not relinquish at 11-8.
The surge sparked a 7-3 run as AU boosted its advantage to seven before the Valkyries trimmed the lead to 18-14. Paced by Hughes two kills, the Trojans then closed the set on a 7-2 run, while hitting .467 for the match.
Grube collected four of her kills in the third frame, while Shugart added three, as the Trojans jumping out to a 12-6 lead and steadily extending their advantage to 17-7 on an ace from freshman Madison Roy.
The Valkyries cut AU's lead to single digits twice after that, but the Trojans eventually led, 23-11, before taking the 12-point victory.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The Trojans trailed just once throughout the six sets.
• The Trojans are the first AU team to open the season with a 7-1 record since the 2014 squad also started the season with an identical mark.
• The Trojans are now 2-0 versus teams from Conference Carolinas.
• AU has posted five sweeps this season.
• The Trojans posted a season-best .382 hitting percentage versus the Valkyries.
• AU notched 16 service aces through the two matches.
• Knight and Grube have three double-doubles on the season.
• Conlin has posted a pair of double-doubles on the season.
Anderson is slated to open South Atlantic Conference action Tuesday night at Mars Hill. First-serve versus the Lions is set for 7 p.m.