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Pioneers split pair of five-set marathon matches to close out Shark Invitational

Pioneers split pair of five-set marathon matches to close out Shark Invitational

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. --- For a second straight day, the Tusculum volleyball team went 1-1 at the 2017 Nova Southeastern Shark Invitational, which was held at Rick Case Arena. The Pioneers went the distance in both of their matches to wrap up the weekend in Ft. Lauderdale with a 2-2 overall record to open the season.

Tusculum opened with a 3-2 victory over Saint Anselm, before falling to host Nova 3-2 in the final match of the day.

The Pioneers will host arch-rival Carson-Newman this Friday in TC's home opener to tip off South Atlantic Conference play.  Match time against the Eagles is 7 p.m. from Pioneer Arena.

Tusculum 3, Saint Anselm 2

Shannon Murphy recorded her second consecutive double-double with 51 assists and 15 digs in leading Tusculum to a 3-2 win over Saint Anselm.  The Pioneers won the match by scores of 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 21-25, 15-13.

Tusculum finished the contest with a .205 hitting percentage tallying 63 kills against 27 errors and 176 total attacks.  Cassie Born tallied a match-high 14 kills to go along with 13 digs and four blocks.  Laryssa Welch tallied 13 kills and five assists, while Mariah Lewis tallied 11 kills, seven blocks and finished with a .455 hitting percentage (11-1-22).  Sabrina Schleuger also posted a double-double with her dozen kills and 11 digs.

Holly Manchester led Saint Anselm with 12 kills, while Kate Teets contributed 11 kills, two service aces and 16 digs.  The duo of Madison Sollows and Catherine McCarthy recorded 10 kills each while setter Jewel Hays dished out 43 assists to go with her 11 digs.

In the first set, Saint Anselm marched out to a commanding 15-4 lead and led by 10 at 21-11 following a McCarthy kill.  The Pioneers answered with a 12-2 run to tie the set at 23-23.  But the Hawks got a kill from Sollows and a block from Teets to win the frame, 25-23.

The Pioneers bounced back in the second set rallying from a 23-21 deficit with four straight points, including a pair of Saint Anselm attack errors to end the set in a 25-23 win.

Tusculum led wire-to-wire in the third set to win 25-17 as the Pioneers got four kills from Lewis and Melissa Mazur posted eight of her team-high 27 digs in the frame.

The Hawks tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.  Teets and Amanda Williams recorded four sets each in the frame while Rebecca Lai tallied seven digs as Saint Anselm set the match to a fifth set.

With the score tied 2-2 in the final frame, Tusculum went on a 9-2 run to take an 11-5 lead.  The Pioneers got to match-point following a kill from Lewis to take a 14-10 advantage.  The Hawks wouldn't go away scoring three straight points to cut the deficit to one at 14-13.  But Kaily Weiss ended the match with a kill as TC prevailed 15-13 in the final frame.

Nova Southeastern 3, Tusculum 2

Host Nova Southeastern rallied from a 2-1 set deficit and scored the final three points in the deciding frame as the Sharks claimed a 3-2 win over Tusculum.  NSU won the match by scores of 25-22, 22-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-12.

Denvyr Tyler-Palmer led all player with 32 kills to go along with her 17 digs and four blocks as she accounted for 35.5 points in the contest.  Maddie Uilk finished with 15 kills, while Nicole Rivera came close to a triple-double with her eight digs, 53 assists and 13 digs.

Born led the Pioneers with her 17 kills and 20 digs, while Weiss and Schleuger finished with 13 and 11 kills, respectively.  Murphy finished with 48 assists and 18 digs, while Alyssa Rojas had 20 digs in her Tusculum debut.  Mazur finished the set with 18 digs in the loss.

The Sharks posted a .254 hitting percentage with 72 kills, 22 errors and 197 total attacks. TC tallied a .199 attack percentage with 60 kills, 23 errors and 186 attacks.

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