Tusculum volleyball drops first SAC road match of the year

Tusculum volleyball drops first SAC road match of the year

HICKORY, N.C. --- Brooke Redmond recorded 11 kills and eight digs in leading the Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball team to a 3-0 South Atlantic Conference victory over Tusculum Friday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.                                                       

The Bears (4-2, 1-0 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 in their league opener.  Tusculum drops to 3-4 overall, 1-2 in league play.

Lenoir-Rhyne had to rally from behind in all three sets as the Bears finished the night hitting .250, including a sizzling .400 in the third frame.

Tusculum's Cassie Born continued her stellar play of late as she finished with a match-high 12 kills to go along with her .360 hitting percentage.  Sabrina Schleuger added eight kills and five digs, while Mariah Lewis contributed six kills and two blocks.

The Bears finished the night with 42 kills, including eight from Maggie Bogart and six from Emily Steele. The L-R setter duo of Brooke Redmond and Maggie Bogart dished out 20 and 17 assists, respectively.

Tusculum setter Shannon Murphy had 30 assists and seven digs, while Melissa Mazur led all players with her 17 digs.

Lenoir-Rhyne recorded six service aces on the night, while the Pioneers were limited to one ace.

Tusculum led 10-5 in the opening set following a Murphy kill.  The Bears responded with a 6-0 run thanks to a Taylor Prall kill and five consecutive TC hitting errors.  With L-R leading 16-15, the Bears went on a 7-2 spurt to move out to a 23-17 lead.  TC fought off three straight set points, but Bogart recorded a kill to give the Bears a 25-20 win in the first set.

The Pioneers scored the first three points of the second set and led by four on two occasions at 12-8 and 18-14.  But the Bears rallied again with an 8-2 run to move out to a 22-20 lead. TC tied with back-to-back points on a L-R service error and a Born ace to tie the frame at 22-22.  But the Bears got their next two points on a TC service error and an attack error to go up 24-22.  TC cut the L-R lead to 24-23, but another hitting error on set point gave Lenoir-Rhyne a 25-23 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

In a third set that saw nine ties and four lead changes in a frame that did not see either team lead by more than three points.  Tusculum led by three at 17-14 following blocks from Lewis and Schleuger.  After a timeout by the home team, the Bears responded with three straight points on a Redmond kill, an ace from Ashley Markland and bad set to tie the stanza at 17-17.  Tusculum regained the lead with a Lewis kill and a L-R hitting error for a 19-17 lead for the Pioneers.  The Bears answered with five straight points, including two kills from Steele, a Redmond kill and consecutive aces from Bogart as L-R led 23-20.  TC scored consecutive points to trail 23-22, but the Bears ended the match with back-to-back kills from Steele and Alexis Ivey to seal the victory.

Of Tusculum's 22 hitting errors, 20 of them came in the first two sets. The Pioneers posted a sizzling .448 hitting percentage in the third frame as TC finished with 15 kills on 29 attacks with only two errors.  Schleuger finished the night hitting .389 (8 kills, 1 error, 18 attempts).

The Pioneers return to action on Saturday when they travel to Catawba for a 2 p.m. contest at Goodman Gym.

- TC -