Trojans Drop Five-Set Decision to Lenoir-Rhyne

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson volleyball team wrapped up a two-match South Atlantic Conference homestand with a 3-2 (25-17, 18-25, 23-25, 25-17, 7-15) setback to visiting Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.   

Anderson slipped to 10-11 overall and 3-8 in the conference, while Lenoir-Rhyne moved to 12-6 overall and 7-3 in the league on the strength of its fifth win in its last six matches.

The Trojans trailed just once early in the opening set before snapping an 8-8 tie with a 7-2 outburst. Sophomore Hailey Pittman ignited the run with her second kill of the afternoon and added an ace, while Anderson capitalized on three Bear’s errors and freshman Victoria Wehrmann capped the surge with a kill. AU pushed out to a 21-15 lead and built a 23-15 lead on the strength of sophomore Megan Cautero’s serves. AU claimed the win on a block from senior Tiffany Rowe.

Lenoir-Rhyne countered in the second set with an impressive .319 hitting percentage, as the Bears broke away from an 11-11 tie with an 11-2 run to take control of the frame. The Trojans battled back within six on two occasions, but were unable to get any closer.

AU fell behind 13-6 in the third frame, but refused to surrender and rallied back to within a single point behind a 10-4 surge highlighted by a pair of kills from sophomore outside hitter Shannon Gillespie and blocks from Rowe and fellow senior Shelby Netherton. The Trojans climbed within a point four more times, including 24-23 but were unable to overtake the Bears.    

The Trojans rallied once again in the fourth frame, turning a 10-5 deficit into a lead they would not relinquish to force a fifth and deciding set.

AU scored the first three points of the fifth set, but Lenoir-Rhyne took advantage of Trojan miscues and responded with a 12-1 run to gain control of the frame.

Gillespie posted her 10th double-double of the season with a team-high 18 kills, while adding 15 digs. Pittman recorded 11 kills and added a pair of service aces, with Wehrmann chipping in eight kills and 13 digs. Cautero handed out a match-high 44 assists and completed her fifth double-double with 17 digs. Alix Hooker recorded a match-best 30 digs.

Sophomore Haley Rhyne led all players with 25 kills, while Ashley Wells added 15. Freshman setter Briana Gottberg dished out 31 assists and freshman Morgan Bunker led the Bears with 24 digs.    

Anderson has a five-day layoff before opening a two-match road swing at Lincoln Memorial. First-serve is slated for 7 p.m. in Harrogate, Tenn.

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