Trojans Open Home Slate by Sweeping Coker and Erskine

Trojans Open Home Slate by Sweeping Coker and Erskine

ANDERSON, S.C. – Using a balanced attack, the Anderson University volleyball opened its home schedule with a pair of sweeps – knocking off Coker, 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-15) and Erskine, 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-14), Friday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.

Anderson (10-1, 2-0 SAC) stretched its win streak to six straight, while staying undefeated in South Atlantic Conference action and has defeated the Cobras in 20 of their last 23 meetings. The Trojans won their third straight over the Flying Fleet in nonconference action and jumped out to an early lead in the chase for the Beville Cup.

Coker dropped to 7-3 overall and 0-2 in the SAC, while Erskine (1-9) has lost four straight decisions.

Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube led a balanced attack with 10 kills on the strength of a .474 hitting percentage, with senior outside hitter Jayln Knight posting eight kills. Sophomore middle blocker Hailee Wilhelm added seven kills, while hitting .462. Junior setter Emily Conlin handed out a match-high 28 assists, notched a pair of service aces and came up with six digs. Senior Megan Embry came up with 13 digs, while freshman Meghan DeVaux added nine digs. Senior Emily Conard recorded six digs, with redshirt freshman middle blocker Hannah Worsham notching three block assists.

First Set
The first frame was tied twice early, before the Trojans used a 7-2 spurt, which was fueled by three kills from Grube, to break it open and push out to a 13-7 lead.

AU maintained at least a three-point advantage before Knight ignited a late surge that gave the Trojans a double-digit lead.

Second Set
The Trojans jumped out to an early 7-3 cushion, but the Cobras chipped away and knotted the score at seven apiece behind four unanswered points. AU regained a brief lead before Coker evened the score for the third and final time, at 9-9.

Wilhelm followed with a kill that gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish and the Black and Gold steadily built a six-point lead before settling for the nine-point victory.

Third Set
Keyed by sophomore right-side hitter Regan Duty's strong early play, along with Conlin and Embry's serves, AU doubled up the Cobras early, at 10-5.

And an 8-1 outburst midway through the frame proved pivotal, as Coker was unable to recover. The Trojans claimed a double-digit, 23-13, advantage late in the set on another kill from Wilhelm and AU went on to take the 10-point win.

Freshman outside hitter Maya Learmonth led all players with a career-high 11 kills on the strength of a .300 hitting percentage. Grube added six kills and a pair of service aces, while the freshman trio of Liliana Kinder, Noelle Knutsen and Neely Shugart each added four kills apiece. Conlin handed out a match-best 18 assists and added seven digs, with freshman setter Madison Roy recording 10 assists. DeVaux came up with a match-best 10 digs.

First Set
The Trojans posted a .423 hitting percentage, while holding the Fleet to a -.040 accuracy.

With Grube serving, AU bolted out to a quick 5-2 lead and never trailed. Erskine climbed within two, but would get no closer, as the Trojans built a late double-digit cushion.

Second Set
The second frame featured 10 ties before the Trojans capitalized on a Fleet error to snap a 14-14 deadlock and take a lead they wouldn't surrender.

Erskine closed within a single point twice in the latter stages, but the Trojans used a late 5-1 surge to gain some breathing room before claiming the victory, with Shugart posting two late kills.

Third Set
Learmonth knocked down five of her match-high 11 kills during the third and final frame, while committing just two errors in seven attempts.

AU pushed out to a 12-5 lead before the Fleet countered with a 6-1 run to close within two. However, Shugart and Kinder helped spark a 9-1 scoring outburst by the Black and Gold, as they claimed a double-digit, 22-12, lead and went on to the 11-point win.

The Trojans recorded 10 service aces on the day.

• The Trojans extended their win streak over the Cobras to 18 matches.
• Seven of the Trojans' 10 wins have been sweeps.
• AU has swept the Flying Fleet in four of their last seven matchups.
• The Trojans posted 10 block assists in each match.

Anderson travels to Franklin Springs, Ga., on Saturday for a nonconference matchup against Emmanuel. First-serve is set for 3 p.m.

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