Tusculum volleyball falls 3-0 at No. 24 Wingate

Tusculum volleyball falls 3-0 at No. 24 Wingate

WINGATE, N.C. --- Anna Holmquist recorded 14 kills, four blocks and a .500 hitting percentage in leading the 24th-ranked Wingate volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Tusculum Friday night at Cuddy Arena.

The Bulldogs (19-2, 13-2 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-22, 25-21, 26-24 to complete the season sweep over the Pioneers (14-11, 9-6 SAC) and snap a two-match losing skid.

Wingate finished the night hitting .336 with 52 kills, 13 errors and 116 total attempts.  Tusculum hit .200 on the evening with 43 kills, 19 errors in their 120 attacks.

Cassie Born paced the Pioneers with 13 kills, 13 digs and four blocks, while Sabrina Schleuger had 10 kills and a .318 attack percentage.  Setter Shannon Murphy contributed 38 assists, while Melissa Mazur tallied 13 digs and two service aces for the visitors.

Wingate's Katie Bludau finished with 13 kills, while teammate Phoebe Havenaar had 12 kills and hit .450 for the Bulldogs.  WU setter Rachel Alles led all players with her 45 assists.

Despite the 3-0 result the match was competitive throughout as the match saw 33 ties and 14 total lead changes.

In the opening set with the score tied 11-11, Wingate went on a 6-2 run to move out to a 17-13 advantage.  The Bulldogs would later lead 19-16 before Tusculum went on a 6-1 run to go up 22-20.  But following a WU timeout, the Dogs close out the frame with five straight points, including a blocks by Havenaar and Alles on set point for a 25-22 Wingate result.

The second frame saw Wingate post a .429 hitting percentage, totaling 18 kills on 35 attempts and just three errors to win 25-21.  The Bulldogs led 16-13 but TC narrowed the deficit with a 4-1 run to knot the frame at 17-17.  WU would close out the set with an 8-4 run, including the final three points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third stanza, Tusculum was determined to extend the match as the Pioneers led midway 14-11 following a Mazur ace.  Wingate responded with a 4-1 spurt to tie the set at 15-15.  The Bulldogs would later take a 22-19 lead following a Havenaar kill.  The Pioneers didn't give up as Tusculum went on a 5-1 run to take a 24-23 lead and were a point away from claiming the set.  But the Bulldogs took advantage of a TC ball-handling error and kills from Havenaar and Oakley Attaway as part of a 3-0 run to seal the match with a 26-24 win.

Tusculum senior Mariah Lewis finished the match with five kills and three blocks.  She now has 198 career blocks to her credit and needs two more to becoming only the 11th player in program history to eclipse the 200-block plateau for her career.

Murphy moved up the Tusculum assists list as her 2,157 career helpers vaults her past Peyton Colclough (2,137 assists from 2008-2009) for fifth place in the TC record book.

Tusculum returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Queens University of Charlotte for a 2 p.m. match. TC defeated the Royals in a five-set marathon last month at Pioneer Arena.