NEWBERRY, S.C. – With senior Jayln Knight recording her sixth double-double of the season and sophomore Regan Duty nearly equaling her career-high in kills, the Anderson University volleyball team held off Newberry for a five-set, 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-9) win over the Wolves in South Atlantic Conference action, Tuesday night at Eleazer Arena.
Anderson (13-1, 4-0 SAC) won its ninth consecutive decision, while knocking off the Wolves for the 10th time in 11 meetings. Newberry (5-5, 0-3 SAC) opened a four-match homestand with its third loss in four decisions.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube led all players with 13 kills, while Knight added a dozen kills and 20 digs for her second-straight double-double. Duty recorded 11 kills on the strength of a .348 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle Hailee Wilhelm notched nine kills. Junior setter Emily Conlin handed out 49 assists and came up with 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the campaign. Freshman libero Meghan DeVaux shared match-high honors with 21 digs, while senior Megan Embry added 14 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The score was knotted four times early, with the Trojans overcoming a one-point deficit and breaking open the set with a 9-1 outburst. Wilhelm helped spark the run with a pair of kills, while AU also took advantage of four attack errors by the Wolves en route to building a 15-8 lead.
Newberry climbed back within four on two occasions, but the Trojans pushed out to an eight-point cushion twice late in the frame. The Wolves managed to hold off set point three times before Grube claimed the win with an emphatic kill.
Neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead and after 10 ties and six lead changes, a late surge lifted the homestanding Wolves to the win.
Three consecutive attack errors by the Wolves snapped a 6-6 deadlock and gave AU a brief, 9-6, edge before Newberry countered with four unanswered points to regain a narrow lead. After the Trojans responded by taking a 13-11 lead on a kill by Knight, Newberry responded by going on a 6-2 run to gain a 17-15 advantage and AU would not lead again. The Trojans did battle back and even the score at 17 apiece and again rallied from a 20-18 deficit to knot the score at 20 apiece, but Newberry claimed the set on the strength of a 5-1 outburst.
The Trojans struck early and took a quick 4-1 lead on back-to-back aces from Grube. After AU pushed out to a 7-3 edge, the Wolves answered with four straight points to even the score for the second time.
A service error by Newberry and a kill from Wilhelm then gave the Trojans a lead they would not surrender until late in the set.
AU steadily pushed out to a five-point advantage twice and led, 22-17, before Newberry rallied to even the score at 23-23. But Grube and Duty countered with back-to-back kills to claim the set for the Black and Gold.
The Trojans garnered an 11-6 advantage, only to see Newberry climb within one three times before staking a brief 16-15 lead.
The lead changed hands four more times before the Wolves broke a 19-19 deadlock and won the set with a 6-1 surge.
Behind Conlin's serves, the Trojans scored the first four points of the final frame and never trailed. After AU took a 6-2 lead, the Wolves posted four straight points to even things up before the Trojans doubled up Newberry, 12-6, and eased on to the six-point win.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
• The nine-match win streak equals the 2002 Trojan squad for the third-longest win streak in school history.
• AU remained perfect in true road matches, at 5-0.
• Emily Conlin has five double-doubles on the season.
• AU equaled its second-lowest hitting percentage of the season.
• Tonight's match marked the Trojans' first five-set contest of the season.
Anderson opens a three-match conference homestand when Tusculum invades the Abney Athletic Center, Friday night. First-serve versus the Pioneers is set for 7 p.m.