ANDERSON, S.C. – With three players reaching double-figure kills and junior Emily Conlin posting her 10th double-double of the season, the Anderson University volleyball team overcame a one-set deficit to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-17) in South Atlantic Conference action, Tuesday night at the Athletic Center.
Anderson improved to 18-2 overall and 9-1 in the conference, while running its home win streak to 21 matches and sweeping the season series with the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne (12-4, 6-3 SAC) saw its win streak halted at five matches.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior outside hitter Jayln Knight led all players with a season-high 19 kills on the strength of a .500 hitting percentage. Sophomores Regan Duty and Hailee Wilhelm each added 10 kills apiece, with Wilhelm notching a .318 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Hannah Worsham posted a season-high nine kills and five block assists. Conlin handed out 50 assists and came up with 19 digs, with senior Emily Conard tallying 16 digs. Freshman Meghan DeVaux and sophomore Christina Stacy recorded 14 digs and 10 digs, respectively.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans led early, but quickly fell behind and rallied late but were unable to overcome a five-point deficit.
Conlin began the match with one of her four service aces on the night and Duty followed with a kill, but the Bears countered with six unanswered points to take a lead they would not relinquish. Worsham sandwiched a pair of kills around a kill by Knight to slow Lenoir-Rhyne and pull AU within just 6-5, but the Bears responded with four straight points and were hitting .444 at that point.
After again falling behind by five (12-7), the Trojans climbed within two on eight occasions before knotting the score at 21 apiece. But L-R closed the set with four consecutive points
The Trojans fell behind 3-1 early, but used an 8-2 scoring outburst to claim a lead they would not surrender. Worsham and Duty combined on back-to-back blocks to spark the surge, with Wilhelm knocking down back-to-back kills to cap the run.
AU led by at least two until building a six-point, 17-11, advantage on a kill from Knight, with the Bears chipping away until they closed the gap to just 20-19. After the two teams traded points, freshman Liliana Kinder scored two of the Trojans' next three points to boost the lead to 24-20. Lenoir-Rhyne held off set point twice, but Knight closed the set with her fifth kill of the set.
AU bolted out to a 15-6 lead and never looked back, as the Trojans posted a .429 hitting percentage to leave no doubt.
The Bears countered with three straight points, but AU responded by doubling up Lenoir-Rhyne, 20-10, and pulled away for the 14-point victory.
Kinder's first kill of the set snapped a 9-9 deadlock – the fifth tie of the frame – and the Trojans reeled off eight straight points to take control of the set. Kinder ignited the outburst with three consecutive kills, while Duty followed with two more kills to help fuel the breakout.
• The Trojans have reached the halfway mark of their 20-match round robin conference schedule. AU still has yet to square off against Catawba or Queens.
• The Trojans improved to 6-0 at home this season and stretched their home win streak to 21 consecutive matches.
• Hannah Worsham has 12 block assists in the last two matches.
• Jayln Knight has eight double-doubles on the season.
• Emily Conlin has 10 double-doubles on the season.
Anderson will welcome Catawba to the Electric City for their first matchup of the season, Friday night. First-serve versus the Indians is scheduled for 7 p.m.