ANDERSON, S.C. – A trio of double-double efforts lifted Anderson to a 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-18) shutout of Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
“I thought the team played extremely well,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “We went in knowing we wanted to serve aggressively and we did that. Hailey (Pittman) and Shannon (Gillespie) had great nights offensively. We need Tinsley (Hallman) to catch fire and she played much better today. Kelley (Lacey) came in and did an exceptional job defensively and on serve-receive. Our ball-handling was incredible and the defense was strong overall.”
Anderson (3-5, 3-1 SAC) notched its second straight win and third victory in its last four outings, while earning its third consecutive sweep past Carson-Newman (6-5, 1-3 SAC).
The first set featured 16 ties but only three lead changes, as the Trojans capitalized on a pair of Eagle miscues to snap an early 2-2 deadlock. AU maintained a narrow lead until Carson-Newman took its first lead of the frame, at 14-13. The two squads battled back-and-forth, with neither team able to build more than a two-point cushion the rest of the way. The Trojans rallied from a 23-22 deficit to claim a brief 24-23 edge before snapping a 25-25 tie on a kill from Hailey Pittman and an error by the Eagles.
The Trojans trailed just once in the second frame, as Carson-Newman scored the first point of the set. Anderson answered by posting an 8-2 run to take a lead it would not relinquish. The Eagles chipped away and climbed within 13-10, but would not get any closer, as AU countered with a 4-1 run to build a 17-11 cushion. The two teams played on even terms through the rest of the set, with AU freshman Tinsley Hallman clinching the set with one of her seven kills on the afternoon.
AU trailed briefly in the third frame before capitalizing on a 10-2 outburst to take a 15-7 lead in the final set. Carson-Newman closed within 21-17 late, before the Trojans posted four of the set’s final six points to claim the win.
Gillespie led all players with 14 kills and added 15 digs for her second straight double-double and fourth of the season. The junior from Fishers, Ind. also tallied a pair of service aces on the afternoon. Junior Kelley Lacey added 11 kills and 12 digs for her first double-double of the campaign, while junior Meghan Cautero tallied a match-high 34 assists and 12 digs for her third double-double of the season. Pittman recorded 10 kills and two block assists. Junior Alix Hooker notched a match-best 18 digs defensively.
Junior Rachel Harper led the Eagles with 10 kills, while junior Kristen Pickett handed out 25 assists. C-N libero Taylor Lowe and junior Lauren Santarelli each added 10 digs.
Anderson travels to Brevard on Friday for a brief one-match league road swing before opening a season-high four-match homestand a week from Tuesday. First-serve versus the Tornados is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Boshamer Gymnasium.