Mars Hill stuns Tusculum 3-1 to snap winning streak

Mars Hill stuns Tusculum 3-1 to snap winning streak

MARS HILL, N.C. --- Lauren Hochstetler recorded 12 kills and a match-high 32 digs to lead the Mars Hill volleyball team to a 3-1 South Atlantic Conference win over visiting Tusculum Tuesday night at Stanford Arena.                       

The Lions (7-13, 5-8 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 25-15 to avenge last month's four-set road loss at the hands of the Pioneers (14-10, 9-5 SAC) as TC slips to fourth in the league standings.  Tusculum also has its three-match winning streak halted.

MHU's Sally Anne Johnson led all players with her 13 kills while posting a .360 hitting percentage.  Rebecca Butler added a dozen kills and 20 digs, while the setter tandem of Sarah Pasour and Abby King distributed 32 and 22 assists, respectively.

For Tusculum, Mariah Lewis and Cassie Born tallied 10 kills apiece, while Laryssa Welch and Sabrina Schleuger had eight kills each.  Born also had 23 digs and three blocks, while setter Shannon Murphy posted a double-double with 39 assists and 22 digs.  Tusculum libero Melissa Mazur accounted for 27 digs for the Pioneer defense.

After the two teams split the first two matches, Tusculum used a 6-0 run to take an early 10-5 lead in the third set.  Following a timeout, the Lions turned the match around with a 9-4 run to tie the set at 14-14.  The league exchanged hands and with the score tied 19-19, Mars Hill scored back-to-back points thanks to a TC hitting error and a kill from Butler as MHU led 21-19. Following a timeout, the Pioneers went on a 3-1 run to tie the frame at 2-22 after consecutive kills from Born.  But the Lions closed out the stanza with a 3-0 run including a TC service error, a service ace from Pasour and a Hochstetler block on set-point as MHU won 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

With momentum on their side, Mars Hill used a 5-0 run midway in the fourth set to take a 16-9 lead and would parlay that run into a 25-15 decision to claim the win in the match.  The Lions hits .213 in the final set, while Tusculum hit for minus-.048 as TC finished the final two sets with a .032 attack percentage.

Mars Hill finished the evening hitting .210, totaling 64 kills with 23 errors in 195 attempts. Tusculum had 48 kills with 23 errors in tis 186 attempts for a .134 hitting percentage.  The Lions tallied six service aces, including three from Elizabeth Kaeser to go along with her 13 digs.

Tusculum continues its season-long six-match road trip when they travel to Wingate to face the 24th-ranked Bulldogs on Friday night at 7 p.m. from Cuddy Arena.  Tusculum played Wingate to a five-set marathon on Sept. 22 before falling to the Bulldogs 3-2.  Wingate, who started the season with 18 straight wins, has dropped its last two matches, including Tuesday's 3-1 road loss to Queens.