ANDERSON, S.C. – A season-best .314 hitting percentage lifted Anderson past Brevard, 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-17) in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action Friday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
“We really played well tonight,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “We had a great hitting percentage and as a team we played a solid match. We executed what we practiced this week and that is a key for us. We want to keep getting better and execute. We are also very proud of Shannon for getting her 1,000th kill and are looking forward to several more.”
Anderson (11-11, 10-6 SAC) has won two of its last three outings and claimed the season series past Brevard (6-15, 2-14 SAC), which suffered its third consecutive loss.
Just three nights after committing a season-high 35 miscues, the Trojans bounced back to record just six errors on the night, as AU reached its season-best attacking accuracy.
Freshman outside hitter Priscilla Irizarry got AU off to a hot start with her aggressive serving, as the Trojans bolted out to a quick 9-2 lead. Middle blocker Hailey Pittman fueled the outburst with four kills, with outside hitter Shannon Gillespie adding a pair of kills. Anderson’s lead grew to double-digits, at 15-5, on a hitting error by the Tornados and the Trojans maintained the advantage through the rest of the frame on the strength of a .394 attack percentage.
AU carried the momentum into the second set and pushed out to a 16-6 cushion on another Tornado miscue. The Trojans claimed its largest lead of the frame, at 21-8, before Brevard scored three of the next four points to close the gap to 11. However, the Trojans closed the set by capitalizing on back-to-back errors by BC and Gillespie notched the final point with a kill.
Leading by four in the third set, freshman Tinsley Hallman sparked a 5-1 run, as Anderson garnered a 15-7 lead and built the lead to 20-8 before Brevard closed within seven points on two occasions late in the frame. Leading, 24-17, Pittman knocked down a kill to secure the victory.
Gillespie became just the ninth player in school history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau with her eighth kill of the night. The Fishers, Ind. native reached the mark midway through the second set and finished with a match-high 14 kills. She added 15 digs for her 16th double-double of the season. Pittman added 11 kills and did not commit an error in 18 attempts for an impressive .611 hitting percentage. She also added a pair of service aces. Junior Meghan Cautero narrowly missed her eighth double-double of the season, tallying 23 assists and eight digs. Junior Alix Hooker posted 11 digs, while the freshman duo of Irizarry and Jessica Harris combined for 10 blocks on the night.
Anderson wraps up the three-match homestand by playing host to Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday afternoon, as the Trojans look to avenge an earlier 3-0 loss to the Bears. First-serve is slated for 2 p.m. at the Abney Center.