CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The Queens University of Charlotte rallied from a set down and overcame an 11-7 deficit in the fifth frame to defeat visiting Tusculum 3-2 Saturday afternoon at the Levine Center.
The Royals (18-5, 12-4 South Atlantic Conference) won the match by scores of 23-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 16-14 to split the season series with the Pioneers (14-11, 9-7 SAC).
Casey Tarvin led the Royas with 23 kills while setter Sydney Kunz accounted for 62 assists and 11 digs in the victory.
Tusculum Cassie Born tallied 15 kills and 14 digs, while Shannon Murphy had 50 assists, 13 digs and three blocks in the loss. TC's Sabrina Schleuger added 12 kills, 15 digs and three service aces, while Melissa Mazur and Alyssa Rojas each had double-digit digs with 34 and 14, respectively.
QUC's Rebecca Cochran added 17 kills and a team-high 28 digs, while Jessica Raines tallied 12 kills in the win for the Royals.
In the first set, Tusculum overcame a 21-13 deficit, scoring 10 straight points to claim a 25-23 win in the opening frame.
The Royals bounced back in the second set jumping out to an 11-1 score and led wire-to-wire for a 25-14 win.
Once again, Tusculum rallied in the third set as TC battled back from a 15-9 deficit with an 11-3 run to take a 20-18 lead. Queens would tie the set at 20-20 and 21-21 before TC scored the final four points of the stanza, including a kill from Murphy as TC prevailed 2-21 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set included eight ties and four lead changes. With the score tied 14-14, the Royals went on a 5-1 spurt to move ahead 19-15. TC trimmed the Queens lead to 19-17 following kills from Born and Mariah Lewis. But three straight points from the home team extended the Royals advantage to 22-17. TC narrowed the gap to 23-22 following back-to-back kills from Schleuger. But after a Queens timeout, the Royals got a block from Alex Thompson and a Tarvin kill on set point to win 25-22 and send the match to a deciding set.
Queens scored the first three points of the set and led 5-1 to force a Tusculum timeout. The Pioneers responded with a 10-2 spark as TC vaulted to an 11-7 lead after two Schleuger aces and a Born kill. But the Royals responded with a 7-2 run to take a 14-13 lead follow a TC hitting error. Lewis tied the set at 14-14 with a kill, but back-to-back blocks from the Royals sealed the comeback winning 16-14.
Queens hit .199 for the match with 69 kills with 28 errors in 206 total attempts. Tusculum had 62 kills with 26 errors in 204 attacks for their .176 hitting percentage. Both teams tallied six service aces each, but Queens finished with 12 team blocks while the Pioneers had nine service errors.
Tusculum will continue its season-long six-match road swing when the Pioneers travel to Harrogate to take on in-state foe Lincoln Memorial for a 7 p.m. on Tuesday.