ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University volleyball team will end a six-day layoff by traveling to in-state South Atlantic Conference rival Newberry on Tuesday. First-serve versus the Wolves at Eleazer Arena is set for 7 p.m.
Anderson (12-1, 3-0 SAC) is looking for is fifth road win of the season at Newberry after getting off to the best start overall in school history. Behind their prolific offense and stout defense, the Trojans are riding an eight-match win streak, including three straight league victories, and are alongside Wingate at the top of the league standings early in the conference schedule.
AU leads the league and ranks 19th nationally in total kills, while also pacing the SAC in kills, assists and aces. The Trojans are second the league in kills per set, hitting percentage and assists per set and the Trojan defense stands second in the SAC in digs and block assists.
Junior setter Emily Conlin ranks eighth nationally and leads the league with nearly a dozen assists per set and ranks 16th nationally in aces per set (.58/set). The Glendale, Ariz., native has earned SAC Specialist of the Week twice already and has posted four double-doubles, including a season-high 52 assists and 22 digs in the road win at Mars Hill two weeks ago. Conlin has notched a season-high five aces on two occasions.
Senior outside hitter Jayln Knight is one of only three players in the conference with more than a hundred kills and a hundred digs, while ranking second on the team and fourth in the conference with 107 kills and 138 digs. A native of Redlands, Calif., Knight leads the team with five double-doubles and has reached double-figure digs eight times. Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube leads the Trojans with 131 kills on the season and is second on the squad with 17 total blocks.
The Wolves (5-4, 0-2 SAC), who posted an 9-18 overall record a season ago, including a 5-15 mark and a 10th-place finish in the conference, were a preseason pick to finish 11th in the 2018 SAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Newberry opens a four-match homestand with Tuesday night's matchup and will play eight of its next 10 contests in the friendly confines of Eleazer Arena after having last Friday's home opener postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Florence. The Wolves are coming off a 3-0 loss at Mars Hill a week ago and have dropped two of their last three decisions, while searching for their first conference win.
The Series vs. Newberry
The Trojans will be seeking their 10th win in the last 11 meetings with Newberry after blanking the Wolves twice last season.
The Trojans and Wolves have met 24 times over the past 20 seasons, with AU holding a 16-8 advantage in the overall series that dates back to the 1999 campaign. The two squads met just once between 2005 and 2009, with 13 of the 24 overall matchups coming since the Trojans joined the SAC in 2010. AU claimed the first three league meetings, with Newberry then winning three straight before Anderson swept the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 regular-season series.
Knight had 11 kills and 25 digs in the two meetings with Newberry last season, while Kathryn Hughes added 10 kills. Conlin dished out 64 assists and came up with 20 digs, with Emily Conard recording 27 digs versus the Wolves.