BREVARD, N.C. – The Anderson volleyball team blanked Brevard, 3-0 (25-23, 25-12, 25-23) as the Trojans won their third consecutive South Atlantic Conference match Friday night at Boshamer Gymnasium.
“Overall it was not our best match,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “But the girls turned it on at the end to get the win. Hailey (Pittman) and Priscilla (Irizarry) had a great offensive night and Alix (Hooker) had a strong night defensively.”
On the strength of its second straight shutout, Anderson (4-5, 4-1 SAC) is off to its best start in conference play since joining the SAC in 2010 and improved to 7-1 in the overall series versus Brevard, which fell to 3-7 overall and 0-6 in the league with its sixth consecutive loss.
Anderson rallied from a four-point deficit to claim the opening set, which featured five ties. The Tornados edged out to an 11-7 advantage midway through the frame, before junior Kelley Lacey ignited a 10-3 spurt that gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish. AU closed the run with five consecutive points, as the Trojans capitalized on Tornado errors and freshman Tinsley Hallman capped the outburst with an ace. Brevard pulled within one on two occasions before junior Meghan Cautero and Hallman clinched the set victory.
The Trojans used a pair of scoring outbursts to erase an early deficit in the second frame, turning a 5-3 Tornado lead into a 12-6 Anderson advantage on the strength of a 9-1 run that saw junior Shannon Gillespie notch three kills and the Tornados commit four consecutive attack errors.
After Brevard closed within three with three unanswered points of its own, Anderson responded with a decisive 13-3 surge to close the set, as Pittman, the reigning SAC Player of the Week, added three kills.
With the score tied at seven apiece in the third and final frame, a 7-2 run propelled AU to a 14-9 lead, its largest of the set, as Irizarry tallied a pair of kills off the bench and Hooker finished the surge with an ace. But the Tornados stayed within striking distance and with AU holding a 17-13 advantage, Brevard used a 6-2 run to knot the score for the fifth time. BC was unable to overtake the Trojans, however, as AU snapped a 22-22 tie on Gillespie’s 13th kill of the match and Irizarry and Pittman sealed the win with back-to-back kills.
Pittman and Gillespie shared match-high kill honors with 13 apiece, while Hallman added six kills. Cautero dished out a match-high 31 assists and Hooker tallied 15 digs. Freshman Jessica Harris recorded four block assists.
With her third kill of the night, Gillespie moved into 10th place in Anderson’s all-time career record books for kills, surpassing former Trojan Kelly Shiflet (2000-03).
Anderson briefly steps out of conference action on Tuesday, as the Trojans open their longest homestand of the season against longtime rival Erskine. The match has been designated as “Dig Pink” night as the Trojans will be promoting breast cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, with first-serve scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.