Pioneers go the distance again in 3-2 SAC win at Carson-Newman

Pioneers go the distance again in 3-2 SAC win at Carson-Newman

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. --- Laryssa Welch and Sabrina Schleuger recorded a dozen kills each to lead the Tusculum volleyball team to a five-set South Atlantic Conference win at Carson-Newman Tuesday night at Hole Fieldhouse.                  

The Pioneers (7-5, 5-3 SAC) won the match by scores of 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-25, 15-11 to avenge a home loss to the Eagles (6-5, 4-4 SAC) earlier this month.

The five-set match is the seventh for the Pioneers this year and the third straight marathon encounter in the last five days.  Since dropping the Sep. 8 league opener against Carson-Newman, the Pioneers have won five of its last seven contests and four of its last five.

Schleuger added 13 digs to her effort, while Welch tallied four blocks for the TC cause.

Kaily Weiss finished with 10 kills, including three in the final set.  She also accounted for four blocks in the win.

Setter Shannon Murphy dished out 43 assists and posted 19 digs.  Mariah Lewis had nine kills and a .364 hitting percentage.  Melissa Mazur led the Pioneers with her 36 digs and dished out five assists.  Cassie Born contributed eight kills, 24 digs and two service aces for the Black and Orange.

C-N's Marnie Streeter posted a double-double of 18 kills and 18 digs, while setters Anna Patton and Madison Rademacher dished out 23 assists apiece.  Morgan Ballard led all players with her 47 digs, while Emily Harischfeger had nine kills, two assists, two service aces and 21 digs.

In the opening set, C-N's Natalie Harris and Lindsay De Vore tallied three kills each as the Eagles won 25-22.

The Pioneers bounced back in the second frame as TC trailed 14-9 and scored nine unanswered points to take an 18-14 lead.  During the run, Welch knocked home three of her five kills in the set.  Following a timeout, the Eagles responded with 19-18 run thanks in part to five straight TC hitting errors.  After a TC timeout, the Pioneers steadied the ship and went on a 5-1 run which included two Welch kills and one each from Born and Murphy as Tusculum led 23-20.  The Eagles trimmed the deficit to one at 23-22, but a Born kill followed by blocks from Weiss and Lewis on set point claimed a 25-22 win for the visitors to knot the match at a set apiece.

In the third set, Carson-Newman scored the first two points of the frame. But after that it was all Tusculum.  The Pioneers jumped out to an early 9-3 advantage and led by as many as eight at 20-12 following a Schleuger kill.   The Eagles made it interesting, going on a 7-1 run to trim the TC lead to 21-19 after back-to-back Streeter kills.  With TC up 22-20, the Pioneers scored the final three points of the set on two kills from Born and another from Lewis as Tusculum won 25-20 to go up 2-1 in the match.

Carson-Newman bolted out to a 16-6 lead in the fourth set en route to a 25-15 win to force a fifth and deciding set.

In the final frame, the Pioneers never trailed and went up by as many as 8-3 following blocks from the tandem of Welch and Weiss.  The Eagles responded with a 6-2 run to cut the TC lead down to one at 10-9.  But a 5-2 run including a service error on match point secured the Pioneers a 15-11 decision in the set and a match victory.

Tusculum returns home on Friday night to host Newberry for a 7 p.m. match at Pioneer Arena.