Trojans Open Strong and Close Strong; Defeat Carson-NewmanOctober 26, 2013
Jefferson City, Tenn. – For the second consecutive outing, juniors Hailey Pittman and Shannon Gillespie, along with freshman Priscilla Irizarry, notched double-figure kills, as Anderson defeated Carson-Newman, 3-1 (25-7, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17) in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
Anderson (10-10, 9-6 SAC) snapped a three-game skid with the season sweep and has now won four straight past Carson-Newman. The Eagles (9-13, 4-11 SAC) suffered their fourth straight setback and have lost seven of their last eight contests.
“This was a much better match for us,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “We still need to cut down our unforced errors and continue to find other avenues to score. Priscilla (Irizarry), Shannon (Gillespie) and Hailey (Pittman) were solid offensively and Alix (Hooker) was awesome defensively”
Anderson never trailed in the opening frame, as the Trojans turned a narrow, early 4-3 edge into a 20-4 cushion on the strength of a 16-1 outburst. Gillespie posted a pair of service aces, while Irizarry accounted for four points during the breakout. Leading by 15 late in the set, Pittman knocked down back-to-back kills and AU capitalized on an Eagle miscue to decisively capture the set.
But Carson-Newman bounced back in the second set, as the Eagles rallied from a late deficit. After the Trojans’ Gillespie gave AU an 18-12 lead with a kill, the Eagles chipped away and eventually took a one-point lead, at 21-20. Anderson freshman Tinsley Hallman knotted the score at 21 apiece, but C-N responded by posting the final four points of the frame for the win.
It was the Trojans turn to rally in the third set, as Carson-Newman pushed out to a 15-10 lead and was clinging to a 17-14 edge before Anderson responded with five unanswered points to claim a 19-17 lead. Irizarry sparked the rally, with Tinsley Hallman adding a kill and junior Alix Hooker notching a service ace. With the score knotted at 20 apiece, AU rattled off five of the final six points to take the set. Gillespie added a pair of kills during the final stretch and Meghan Cautero capped the run with an ace.
The Trojans posted the first four points of the fourth set and Carson-Newman was unable to recover, as AU built a pair of late nine-point advantages and claimed a double-digit, 22-12 lead on Pittman’s final kill of the afternoon. Gillespie recorded the final point of the match with her sixth service ace of the afternoon.
Pittman finished with a game-high 18 kills on the strength of a .485 hitting percentage and added two digs, four blocks and a pair of service aces on the afternoon. Gillespie tallied 16 kills and eight digs, narrowly missing her 15th double-double of the season. Irizarry posted a triple-double with 10 kills, 14 assists and 10 digs on the day. The redshirt freshman also chipped in five blocks. Cautero recorded her second straight double-double and seventh of the season with 27 assist and 11 digs, while Hooker recorded a team-high 16 digs.
Anderson returns home for a three-match homestand, beginning with Peach Belt opponent Lander on Tuesday. First-serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.