FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – Paced by a career-high 17 kills from sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube, the Anderson University volleyball team wrapped up its nonconference schedule by defeating Emmanuel, 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 28-26) Saturday afternoon at the Shaw Athletic Center.
Anderson improved to 11-1 on the season with its seventh consecutive victory, while Emmanuel fell to 5-5 with its fourth setback in five outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Grube added two digs and a pair of block assists, while sophomore middle blocker Hailee Wilhelm knocked down 13 kills on the strength of a .542 hitting percentage. Sophomore right-side hitter Regan Duty chipped in a dozen kills, with senior outside hitter Jayln Knight nearly notching her fifth double-double of the season with nine kills and 16 digs. Junior setter Emily Conlin tallied 49 assists, five service aces and 10 digs for her fourth double-double. Freshman libero Meghan DeVaux shared match-high honors with 23 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Knight led the offensive attack with four kills in the opening frame, while DeVaux came up with five digs defensively.
With Conlin serving, the Trojans scored the first five points and never looked back, as they raced out to a 13-5 advantage. While hitting .467, AU gradually built a double-digit, 21-11, cushion and cruised to the 10-point win.
The second set was knotted three times early, before AU rattled off four unanswered points with DeVaux serving to grab a 6-3 advantage and a lead they refused to relinquish.
The early surge was part of a substantial 12-3 outburst by the Black and Gold that was fueled early by Duty and Knight, then by Grube late in the run.
AU's lead never sank below seven points until late in the frame, when the Lions pulled within six on four occasions and held off set point twice before the Trojans claimed the set on sophomore middle blocker Hailee Wilhelm's fifth kill of the set.
The third set saw five lead changes and seven ties, with AU falling behind, 9-4, early.
After falling behind, the Trojans rattled off a 10-2 run that gave them their largest lead of the frame, at 14-11, on the strength of three kills from Grube. The score was knotted three more times before the Lions snapped an 18-18 deadlock with four unanswered points and the Trojans were unable to recover.
AU battled back and held off set point twice, while climbing within 24-22, but was unable to complete the comeback.
The final frame featured 14 ties and neither team was able to claim more than a three-point lead.
The Trojans led early and edged out to a slim, 14-12, lead before Emmanuel rallied to even the score again and gain a three-point advantage.
The Lions used three consecutive points to gain the 20-17 lead and after they claimed a 23-21 advantage, it looked as though Emmanuel might force a fifth set. But Grube knocked down a kill and Conlin followed with her fifth ace of the afternoon to even the score. After another kill by Grube pushed the Trojans to match point, the Lions countered two scores of their own and were once again on the verge of taking the set.
However, the score was knotted again at 25-25 and 26-26, before Wilhelm and Duty combined on a block and DeVaux finished off the win with an ace.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE MATCH
The Trojans knocked down a season-high 63 kills.
• The Trojans have equaled the 2004 team for the best start in school history.
• AU has recorded seven sweeps on the season.
• The Trojans improved to 4-0 against teams from Conference Carolinas.
• AU is hitting .222 on the season, while holding opponents to a .111 attack percentage.
Anderson will get back in South Atlantic Conference action by traveling to Lenoir-Rhyne on Tuesday. First-serve versus the Bears in Hickory, N.C., is schedule for 7 p.m.