Trojans Fall to Mars Hill

Box Score

ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson volleyball team was unable to overcome its second-lowest hitting percentage of the season as the Trojans opened a three-match homestand with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-18, 22-25, 22-25) setback to Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference action Friday night at the Abney Athletic Center.  

Anderson slipped to 11-13 overall and 4-10 in the league and has dropped three of its last four, while Mars Hill (13-10, 6-7 SAC) has won two of its last three and swept the season series.

The opening set saw three early lead changes and despite a late rally, the Trojans were unable to overcome a hitting percentage of just .019. Mars Hill snapped a 5-5 tie with an 11-2 run to assume control of the frame. AU trimmed the deficit to nine on three occasions late, but was unable to close the gap.

The Trojans scored the first four points of the second set and never trailed en route to evening the match at one apiece. Anderson steadily built a 14-9 advantage, but Mars Hill scored three of the next four points to cut the AU lead to just 14-13.  Sophomore outside hitter Shannon Gillespie snapped the Mars Hill run with one of her match-high 13 kills, as the Trojans countered with four unanswered points and held the advantage the rest of the way.
Mars Hill grabbed an early lead in the third set and pushed out to a 14-7 lead, only to see the Trojans chip away and rally within 23-22 on an error by the Lions. But Mars Hill’s Toni Cole notched a kill and the Lions took advantage of a Trojan miscue to claim the set.
The fourth set featured eight ties before the Lions scored five unanswered points to gain a 13-8 lead. The Trojans remained within striking distance and trimmed the deficit to just two, but were unable to overtake the Lions.

Gillespie recorded her 13th double-double of the season by adding 13 digs. Sophomore Kelley Lacey added nine kills and 21 digs, while Meghan Cautero led all players with 41 assists. Alix Hooker tallied 24 digs on the night.

Toni Cole lead three Mars Hill players in double figures with 11 kills, with Becca Smith handing out 24 assists and teammate Hannah Wilson adding 20. Marissa Wixom recorded a match-high 26 digs.

Anderson plays host to Tusculum on Saturday in a Homecoming Day matchup with the Pioneers. First-serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Abney Center.

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