ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson volleyball team wrapped up its brief two-match South Atlantic Conference homestand with a 3-0 (20-25, 20-25, 16-25) setback to league-leading and 13th-ranked Wingate on Homecoming, Saturday afternoon at the Abney Athletic Center.
“Any time you have a great team like Wingate come to town, you know you have to play your best,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “I thought we were competitive in the first two sets, but a short run by Wingate in each set hurt us. Hailey (Pittman) was again very effective against Wingate’s defense and Alix (Hooker) had a solid game defensively.”
Anderson (9-8, 8-4 SAC) saw its win streak halted at four, while Wingate (17-2, 13-0 SAC) stayed undefeated in conference play, while claiming it 14th consecutive victory.
The Trojans garnered an early 3-1 lead in the opening frame on a service ace from redshirt freshman Tinsley Hallman, but the Bulldogs countered with a 16-5 run to push out to a 17-8 advantage. AU trimmed the deficit to five on three occasions and climbed within 23-19 on a kill from junior Hailey Pittman, but Wingate capitalized on a Trojan error and following a kill by Meghan Cautero, Wingate middle blocker Lexi Potter clinched the set victory with a kill.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the second set, but Anderson responded with a 5-3 run to cut the deficit to just two. But it was as close as the Trojans would get, as Wingate scored four unanswered points to push out to its largest lead of the frame, at 17-11. AU stayed within striking distance and pulled within 21-18 on a kill from junior Kelley Lacey, but WU turned the Trojans away with three kills and an AU miscue.
With the score knotted at 6-6 in the third frame, Wingate posted an 11-3 surge and the Trojans were unable to recover, as the Bulldogs capitalized on seven AU errors and hit .353 during the set to claim the win.
Pittman and Shannon Gillespie each tallied 10 kills apiece, while Gillespie earned her eighth consecutive double-double and 12th of the season by adding 12 digs. Cautero dished out a team-high 18 assists, while redshirt freshman Priscilla Irizarry added 10 assists. Junior Alix Hooker came up with a team-best 17 digs.
Wingate senior Anna Hilton led all players with 13 kills and six digs, while Potter notched eight kills. Junior setter Alison Cooke recorded 23 assists and four kills for the Bulldogs, while junior Stephanie Tassone collected a match-high 19 digs.
Anderson opens a three-match conference road swing at Lenoir-Rhyne on Tuesday in the first meeting between the Trojans and Bears this season. First-serve in Hickory, N.C. is slated for 7 p.m.