Lincoln Memorial Holds off Trojans

Box Score

HARROGATE, Tenn. – Sophomore Shannon Gillespie recorded her 11th double-double of the season with a team-high 11 digs and 10 kills and Hailey Pittman added nine kills, but the Anderson volleyball team opened a two-game South Atlantic Conference road swing with a 3-0 (21-25, 13-25, 19-25) setback to Lincoln Memorial Friday night at Mars Gym.  

Anderson slipped to 10-12 overall and 3-9 in the conference with its second consecutive setback, while Lincoln Memorial (16-8, 8-2 SAC) maintained a share of the league lead by staying undefeated at home and winning its third match in the last four outings.

Anderson fell behind early in the opening set, but never trailed by more than three until the deciding point. Trailing, 17-14, the Trojans went on a 4-1 run to even the score on a kill by Gillespie and three LMU errors. But AU was unable to gain the lead as the Lady Railsplitters countered with a 4-1 surge of their own, taking a 22-19 edge. The Trojans again battled back to within one back-to-back kills from freshman Victoria Wehrmann, but LMU answered with three straight points to claim the set.

The Lady Railsplitters scored the first four points of the second set en route to claiming a 10-2 lead and the Trojans were unable to recover. AU battled back within 16-10, but was hampered by hitting just .094 for the set and could get no closer.

Anderson gained a 6-4 lead in the third frame, but LMU snapped a 9-9 score, the fourth tie of the set, with an 8-2 run and pushed out to a 17-11 lead. The Trojans climbed within a pair, at 19-17, but the Lady Railsplitters responded with a 6-2 surge to claim the sweep.  

LMU’s Blaire Fowler led three Lady Railsplitters in double figures with 18 kills, while Brittany Pugh added 28 assists. Casey Mense tallied 17 digs for Lincoln Memorial.

Wehrmann added seven kills on the strength of a .353 hitting percentage, while sophomore Meghan Cautero recorded a team-high 25 assists and shared match-high block honors with three. Sophomore Alix Hooker notched eight digs, while senior Tiffany Rowe posted three kills.  

Rowe, who leads the SAC in solo blocks, block assists and total blocks, moved into second place in the AU record books with her effort. The 6-foot-3 middle blocker trails former Trojan standout Michelle Yarborough (1999-2002) by 97 blocks. She currently ranks third in block assists and is poised to move into third all-time in school history in solo blocks.

Anderson concludes the road swing with a visit to Carson-Newman on Saturday. First-serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. 

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