GREENWOOD, S.C. --- Tusculum closed out play at the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 loss to Georgia College and a 3-2 loss to host Lander.
The Pioneers (11-9) dropped three out of four in the SAC/PBC Challenge, and will return to action Tuesday night at 7 p.m. with a non-conference match at King.
Georgia College 3, Tusculum 0
The Bobcats (11-4) played three close sets with the Pioneers, winning by scores of 26-24, 26-24 and 25-22. Libby Bochniak led Georgia College with 15 kills, while Sabrina Schleuger had 12 kills and Laryssa Welch added 11 for Tusculum.
As a team, the Pioneers hit .135 in the match, while the Bobcats connected on a .159 clip. Alyssa Rojas paced the Pioneer defense with 14 digs, with Kayli Dempster adding 12. Tusculum also had five blocks as a team, led by two apiece from Mariah Lewis and Kaily Weiss. Shannon Murphy distributed 38 assists for the Pioneers and added seven digs, while Madison Shumaker had eight digs.
Chandler Ewaldsen led the Bobcat defense with 21 digs and also had three service aces, with 12 digs each from Ebony Powers and Bochniak. Kayla Brockway dished out 37 assists in the victory for Georgia College, while Emma Boughner had four blocks (two solo, two assisted).
Lander 3, Tusculum 2
The Bearcats (12-7) trailed two sets to none to the Pioneers, but won the final three to come away with a 16-25, 29-31, 25-12, 26-24, 15-9 win. Each of the last four sets featured at least six ties, with six lead changes in the fourth set.
Tusculum piled up 62 kills and hit .186 as a team in the match, led by 15 kills and 25 digs from Schleuger. Welch finished with 13 kills and Lewis added 12 kills and five blocks for the Pioneers. On defense, Rojas had 17 digs and Shumaker added 13, while Murphy had 15 digs to go with 52 assists and four service aces.
Lander was led by 17 kills from Hannah Hritz, 16 by Reilly Kuenstler and 14 by Kirstin Martindale. Hannah McManus led all players with 44 digs for the Bearcats, with 15 digs from Martindale. Reyonia Whipple had nine kills and five blocks for Lander, with 34 assists by Sophia Perkins and 25 from Nell Copeland.