Schleuger paces Pioneers to five-set road win at Catawba

Schleuger paces Pioneers to five-set road win at Catawba

SALISBURY, N.C. --- Sabrina Schleuger recorded 19 kills and 13 digs to lead the Tusculum volleyball team to a 3-2 South Atlantic Conference win at Catawba Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.

The Pioneers (4-4, 2-2 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-23, 17-25, 26-24, 20-25, 15-11.

Tusculum utilized a 7-2 run at the end of the fifth set to win its second five-set thriller of the week.  TC knocked off 2016 SAC runner-up Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday.

TC's Cassie Born added 18 kills and 20 digs to nearly miss her second 20-20 match of the week.  Laryssa Welch tallied 10 kills and seven blocks.  Setter Shannon Murphy dished out 48 assists to go along with 17 digs and four blocks.  Melissa Mazur accounted for 29 digs, four assists and a service ace in the win.

Macy Eidenberger had 19 kills to lead the Catawba Indians (3-3, 1-1 SAC).  Jade Brooks had a double-double with 16 kills and 20 digs, while Micah Ensor contributed 10 kills in the loss.

Tusculum trailed in the first set 19-14 following a kill from Kimberly Hurtado.  The Pioneers answered with an 8-2 run which included three kills from Born to take a 23-21 lead.  Catawba cut the deficit to one at 23-22 and again at 24-23.  But Schleuger capped the rally with a kill on set-point to give TC a 25-23 win in the first frame.

Catawba roared back with a 25-17 win in the second set as the Indians hit .209 in the set, while limiting Tusculum to minus-.029.

The third set was a thriller which went back and forth.  With the score tied at 21-21, Tusculum scored three straight points to go up 24-21.  But the Indians fought off three set points to tie the frame at 24-24.  But the Pioneers got back-to-back points including a Schleuger kill to win 26-24.

Catawba sent the match to a deciding set, using a 7-2 run en route to winning the fourth frame 25-20.

In the fifth set, Catawba looked to have the momentum from the fourth, taking a 4-1 early in the fifth.  The Pioneers followed with a 5-2 spurt to tie the set at 6-6.  With Catawba leading 9-7, the Pioneers went on an 8-2 run to finish the match, including three hitting Catawba hitting errors down the stretch.

Tusculum returns home on Tuesday to host cross-mountain rival Mars Hill for a 7 p.m. SAC match at Pioneer Arena.