CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With four players posting season-highs in several categories, the Anderson University volleyball team bounced back from its first loss of the season to claim a 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 25-13) win over Georgia College in the Queens Fall Invitational, Friday night at the Royals' Levine Center.
"We are a work in progress but it was great to begin to see some things fall into place tonight," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "Really proud of our team effort and composure in the nightcap. Some players are learning what it takes to win at this level and those with experience are learning more about leading by example."
Anderson improved to 5-1 with its second win over the Bobcats in as many meetings, while Georgia College fell to 2-4 with its second loss of the day.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior Jayln Knight notched her third double-double of the campaign with a season-high 18 kills on the strength of an impressive .441 hitting percentage. The Redlands, Calif., native added 14 digs. Sophomore right-side hitter Regan Duty posted a season-best 12 kills, while junior setter Emily Conlin captured her second double-double of the season with a match-high 49 assists and led all players with 20 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube added eight kills, with freshman libero Meghan DeVaux tallying a career-high 19 digs. Freshman Liliana Kinder notched a career-best nine kills and seven block assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans struck early by scoring the first three points of the frame and a late surge propelled the Black and Gold to the win. Behind a balanced attack the Trojans jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead and used a .667 hitting percentage to gain a 6-3 edge.
But the Bobcats crept back within one on three occasions before knotting the score for the first time, at 13 apiece. They edged out to a two-point advantage twice and the score was knotted four more times before AU took a lead it would not relinquish, at 21-20, on an error by the Bobcats. Grube boosted the Trojans' lead to two with a kill and after the Bobcats pulled within one, AU finished the win by scoring the final three points of the frame.
AU nearly overcame a late eight-point deficit, but was unable to complete the rally.
Kinder knocked down three early kills to give the Trojans a quick 5-2 edge, but Georgia College chipped away to even the score at six apiece. Following three more tie scores, the Bobcats snapped an 11-11 deadlock with a decisive 9-1 run to build a seemingly comfortable 20-12 cushion.
But Knight and Grube fueled a 9-2 run by the Trojans with two kills apiece, as AU climbed within just one, at 22-21, but the Black and Gold were unable to overtake the Bobcats down the stretch.
After Georgia College doubled up the Trojans early at 6-3, AU reeled off another 9-2 run to take a lead they would not surrender.
The Trojans steadily built a seven-point, 22-15, advantage with Conlin and sophomore Hailee Wilhelm teaming up for back-to-back blocks to close out the set.
The Trojans ripped off the first three points of the frame and doubled up Georgia College, 8-4, before pushing out to a double-digit 20-10 lead on the strength of a decisive 10-2 outburst.
The Bobcats got no closer than nine in the final moments, as AU claimed the 12-point win.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The 22 block assists marked a season-high for the Trojans.
• AU improved to 3-1 versus Peach Belt Conference teams this season.
Anderson will get back in action Saturday afternoon, when the Trojans will square off against two-time defending Conference Carolinas Champion, Barton.
First-serve versus the Bulldogs is set for 12:15 p.m. The Trojans are scheduled to face Converse, Saturday at 4:45 p.m.