Volleyball Wraps up Homestand by Hosting NewberryOctober 7, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson volleyball team will be looking to get back in the win column as the Trojans close out their four-match homestand by playing host to Newberry in South Atlantic Conference action on Tuesday night. First-serve is slated for 7 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.
Anderson (5-7, 4-3 SAC) suffered back-to-back losses over the weekend for the first time since opening the season at the FSC/Terrace Hotel Classic in early September, and the schedule does not get any lighter as AU welcomes yet another 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament participant to the Abney Center.
Offensively, juniors Shannon Gillespie and Hailey Pittman continue to lead the squad with 177 kills and 143 kills, respectively. Gillespie posted back-to-back double-doubles over the weekend, totaling 29 kills and 49 digs, including a career-best 26 digs in the five-set loss to Tusculum. Pittman added 12 kills and committed just one error against the Pioneers, while junior Kelley Lacey also notched a pair of double-doubles over the weekend, including a career-high 15 kills and 24 digs in Friday night’s setback. A pair of redshirt freshmen, Tinsley Hallman and Priscilla Irizarry, teamed up to post a season-high 11 service aces against the Pioneers.
Junior Meghan Cautero leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with 407 assists (8.66 a/s), while junior Alix Hooker has jumped to fourth in the SAC with her 4.66 digs set average. Freshman Jessica Harris added seven total blocks on the weekend and leads the Trojans with 32 on the season. The Franklinton, N.C. native is 14th in the conference with .68 blocks per set.
Newberry finished fifth in the league’s regular-season standings a year ago, and was upended by top-seeded Wingate in the semifinals of the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament, but the Wolves went on to earn their second straight bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament. Newberry posted its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory with a win past third-seeded and defending Southeast Region champion Flagler in the first round of the tourney before falling to Wingate again in the semifinals of the Southeast Regional, finishing 19-15 overall and 10-8 in the conference.
The Wolves were a preseason pick to finish fourth in the league this season, behind seven-time defending league champion Wingate, Tusculum and Lincoln Memorial.
Wolves senior Samantha Parrish earned first team preseason All-SAC accolades, as the senior from Angola, Ind., entered the 2013 campaign as Newberry’s career leader in kills and is on pace to break the school’s digs record this season. Parrish is the only player in Newberry history to record more than 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, accomplishing the feat in her first three seasons.
Parrish was a first team All-SAC pick last year and a second team DAKTRONICS All-Southeast Region honoree. She was only the second player in program history to earn all-region honors.
Sophomore Rachel Moran and senior setter Chelsea Mayor have each earned SAC Specialist of the Week accolades this season. Moran collected the honor on Sept. 9, after helping lead lead the Wolves to a 4-0 start on the season with wins over Lees-McRae, USC Aiken, Francis Marion and Mount Olive at the Francis Marion Invitational. Playing in nine of the 14 sets the Wolves played, Moran averaged of 11.89 assists per set. She also dished out 49 assists in a 3-1 win over Francis Marion.
Mayor collected the award after the Wolves defeated Lander and Carson-Newman. She averaged 10.63 assists and three digs per set, including a career-high 52 assists to go with 17 digs in the win at Lander. Mayor had 46 assists and nine digs in the 3-2 comeback win over Carson-Newman and had a double-double of 40 assists and 13 digs against Lincoln Memorial.
Newberry is 10-4 overall on the season, including a 5-3 mark in the conference, and has won two of its last three SAC matchups. The Wolves have posted a 5-1 record away from home and are coming off a narrow 3-2 (25-12, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 6-15) home loss to No. 25 Armstrong Atlantic State last Saturday night.
The Series vs. Newberry
The Trojans and Wolves have met 15 times over the past 16 seasons, with AU holding a slim 8-7 advantage in the overall series that dates back to the 1999 campaign. The two squads met just once between 2005 and 2009, with six of the matchups coming since the Trojans joined the SAC in 2010. AU claimed the first three league meetings, but Newberry has won the last three.
Newberry defeated the Trojans, 3-1 (3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 24-26, 16-25) in last season’s regular-season finale, as Cautero dished out a team-best 33 assists and notched three service aces, with Hooker leading five Trojans in double-figure digs with 24.