Big South Volleyball Delivers Wins Friday

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LIBERTY DEFEATS SAINT FRANCIS (Pa.), 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 | BOX SCORE

Liberty posted its seventh victory in a row, sweeping Saint Francis (Pa.) (25-20, 25-18, 25-16) in the first match of the Kent State Mizuno Classic.

The Lady Flames (7-1) defeated Saint Francis (2-5) for the second year in a row, as the two teams last met Sept. 9, 2011 in Lynchburg.  Liberty is in the midst of its longest winning streak since a seven match winning streak during the 2011 season.

For the match, Liberty outhit Saint Francis, .270 to .098.  The Lady Flames posted six blocks, compared to four for the Red Flash.  Saint Francis held a slight 46-42 edge in digs, while both teams served up four aces.

Ansley Gebben led all players with nine kills and added 10 digs.  Haley Jeffcoat and Kendle Rollins both tallied eight kills.  Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 11 digs, while Caroline Douglas and Loren Thomas posted three blocks apiece.  Jade Craycraft dished out 16 assists, followed by a career-high 13 assists from Lauren Bosché.

Hannah Kutny paced the Red Flash with eight kills, while Alanna Blenkarn registered a match-high 23 assists.

Saint Francis overcame an early 9-3 deficit to tie set one at 12-12, before the Lady Flames tallied three blocks during an 8-4 run to take a 20-16 advantage.  The Red Flash pulled to within three at 20-17 on a Kutny kill.  Jeffcoat connected for kills on three out of the Lady Flames last four points, as Liberty took a 25-20 set-one victory.

Jeffcoat and Kutny tied for the set lead, with four kills apiece.  The Lady Flames posted four blocks during the opening session including two each from Thomas and Gebben.

The Lady Flames turned a 7-7 tie into a 21-13 lead with a 14-6 run in the second set.  Jeffcoat and Thomas both sent down a pair of kills during Liberty's surge.  Saint Francis scored the next three points, with Lauren Wingard recording an ace and a kill to slice the deficit to 21-16.  Liberty then raced to the finish, with Rollins tallying the set-clinching kill at 25-18.

Liberty connected for 16 kills at a .500 clip during set two, compared to 11 kills at .194 for the Red Flash.  Gebben and Thomas both recorded four kills in the second set.

The Lady Flames controlled set three from the outset, building a double-digit lead at 16-6.  After that point, Saint Francis would get no closer than eight points, which occurred at 20-12 and again at 24-16.  Rollins sealed the victory, sending down a kill for a 25-16 set victory and 3-0 match sweep.

Gebben recorded four kills during the final frame, totaling one-third of Liberty's kills in set three.  Liberty hit .163 in the third set, compared to -.061 for the Red Flash.

The Lady Flames face the host Kent State Golden Flashes later today, with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. at the MAC Center.

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN DEFEATS MORGAN STATE, 26-24, 25-16, 25-20 | BOX SCORE

Kayla Klinger recorded a season-high 11 kills and Sydney Tracy added nine of her own as the Charleston Southern Buccaneers volleyball team improved their hitting percentage in each set in defeating Morgan State University in the first match of the Marriott Greyhound Classic at Reitz Arena in straight sets, 26-24, 25-16, 25-20.

CSU (4-5) picks up their fourth win of the season as the Buccaneers hit .236 on the afternoon as a team, including a match-high .294 in the final set.  Wynter Davis and Katrina Houston added six kills apiece for the Charleston Southern squad as the Bucs topped their second consecutive team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this week after sweeping Savannah State this past Tuesday.

The Buccaneers jumped ahead early in the first set, building a 7-1 lead on Tracy's serve as the sophomore outside hitter placed in a pair of aces.  CSU went up 10-5 on a MSU attack error, but the Bears battled back, scoring 12 of the next 13 points behind a pair of kills by Samantha Prescott and a service ace by Ngebui Chafeh as Morgan State went up 17-11 after their run.

The Bucs battled back, evening the match at 21 apiece following a pair of Klinger kills.  The teams remained knotted up at 24 apiece following a kill by MSU's Arianna Hayden, but Charleston Southern was able to claim the set following a pair of Bears' miscues to build the 1-0 lead with the 26-24 victory.

Charleston Southern broke open an 11-10 match in the second set, rattling off seven consecutive points on Ashley Higgenbothem's serve as Higgenbothem placed in an ace and Meredith Parrott added a kill as CSU went up 18-10.  Back-to-back kills by Klinger put the Bucs up 21-12 as Charleston Southern closed out the set on a Tracy kill to go up 2-0 after the 25-16 set win.

CSU built off their momentum from the second set, scoring 18 of the first 25 points in the final frame to build an 18-7 lead following a kill by Tracy.  The Bears battled back, keeping the match within reach as Morgan State rallied behind back-to-back blocks by Jourdan Lemons and Janelle Wilson to cut the CSU lead to 23-19.  However, the comeback fell short as Tracy put away the final point for the Buccaneers to close out the sweep with the 25-20 victory.

Higgenbothem led the Buccaneers defensive efforts with nine digs in the match, while Kirsten Struksnes set up the CSU attack with 28 set assists.  Klinger led the Bucs serving efforts with three of CSU's seven aces in the match, while Tracy added two blocks at the net as Charleston Southern moved Al Givens within four victories of his 400th career win.

Charleston Southern closes out the two-day event with a pair of matches on Saturday inside Reitz Arena. The Buccaneers take on tournament host Loyola University at 11:30 a.m., while CSU finishes the day with a 4:30 showdown against Ryder University.

PRESBYTERIAN DEFEATS DAVIDSON, 25-18, 20-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-9 | BOX SCORE

Three players recorded double-digit kills as the Presbyterian College volleyball team fought back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Davidson 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-9) in its opening game of the Radisson North Florida Invitational being held Sept. 7-8 in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Blue Hose improve to 2-7, while the Wildcats fall to 3-2 on the season.

Leading PC was Rachel Hall with 15 kills.  She only posted four errors to come away with a team-leading .393 hitting percentage.  Allison Brown followed with 14 kills, while Kelly Berryman added 13.  Ashtin Frank came away with 49 assists and Mary Trimpe ended the match with 21 digs.

PC posted 60 kills, compared to 52 for Davidson.  The Blue Hose hit .186 percent, while Davidson had a .190.

Down two games to one, the Blue Hose won the next two games to force a game five.

Game five was a back and forth battle early on with neither team able to make a move.  Leading 7-6, Davidson recorded an attack error to give PC the two-point lead.  The Blue Hose rattled off to more off a kill by Andrea Barman and Berryman to lead 10-6.  PC kept the distance the rest of the game, capitalizing on another kill by Berryman and two kills by Hall, including on match point, to take the 15-9 deciding game.

The Blue Hose opened the first game with 7-1 lead.  PC stretched it to nine points on a kill by Brown, and PC would hold the lead the rest of the match.  The Wildcats scored three straight to make it 24-18, but PC closed the rally on another kill by Brown to take the first game 25-18.

The second set was close early on and both teams were tied at 9-9.  After PC took a one-point lead on a service ace by Frank, the Wildcats rallied to a 14-11 advantage.  PC fought back to a 17-17 tie on a kill by Brown.  Consecutive Davidson kills turned the game in its favor, 21-19, before Hannah Rau added a kill and an ace as the Wildcats claimed the second game, 25-20, to tie the match at 1-1.

Davidson controlled most of the third game and led 12-7 at one point.  The Wildcats used a 13-7 run to end the game 25-14 and take the 2-1 lead.

The fourth game was a close affair as both team battled to an 8-8 tie.  The Wildcats scored five straight as Davidson went ahead 13-9.  The Blue Hose battled back to tie the game at 15-15.  Tied again at 18-18 the Blue Hose closed things out with a 7-2 run, capitalizing on five PC kills.

PC takes on UNF Saturday at noon, before facing Florida A&M at 5 p.m.

LIBERTY DEFEATS KENT STATE, 28-26, 26-24, 25-27, 17-25, 15-11 | BOX SCORE

The Liberty volleyball team held off host Kent State, 3-2 (28-26, 26-24, 25-27, 17-25, 15-11) on Friday, winning its eighth match in a row and second on Friday at the Kent State Mizuno Classic.

The Lady Flames advance to 8-1 on the season, while the Golden Flashes are now 2-5.  Prior to this season, the last time Liberty won eight matches in a row was in October of 2010.  Liberty is now 3-1 in five-set matches this year.           

Liberty tied its season high with 14.5 team blocks, getting seven rejections each from Kendle Rollins and Loren Thomas and six from Jade Craycraft.  Kent State hit .224 for the match, compared to .223 for the Lady Flames.

Craycraft tallied nine kills on 13 swings (.692) and added 45 assists and 12 digs.  Caroline Douglas posted a team-high 16 kills, hitting .464, while Ansley Gebben connected for 12 kills.  Gabrielle Shipe collected a team-high 19 digs and Becca Haraf entered double-figures with 10 digs.

Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola recorded a match-high 22 kills in addition to 11 digs for the hosts.  Kelly Hutchison chipped in 19 kills, while Aleksandra Nowak had a match-high 60 assists and Hannah Herc led all players with 20 digs.

The Lady Flames outlasted Kent State in set one, breaking an 18-18 tie with a 6-3 rally to obtain set point at 24-21.  The Golden Flashes battled back, gaining a set point chance at 25-24 via a four-point rally.  Liberty fended off two set-point tries, and went ahead, 27-26 on a triple block by Happel, Thomas and Craycraft.  The Lady Flames closed out the extended set, 28-26, when a Golden Flashes attack misfired.

Liberty totaled 6.5 team blocks in the opening set, including four by Rollins, to hold Kent State to a .118 attack percentage.  Hutchison registered eight kills for Kent State, while Douglas recorded five kills.

During set two, the Lady Flames overcame a 20-16 deficit to win, 26-24.  Trailing 20-16, Liberty drew to within one when a triple block capped a 3-0 rally.  Following six rally points, the Lady Flames tied it at 23-all on a Rollins ace.  A Kent State error gave Liberty set point, 24-23. Liberty later clinched set two, 26-24, on a block by Thomas and Craycraft, to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Both teams hit for high average in the second session, with Liberty hitting .400 compared to .308 for the Golden Flashes.  Douglas led all players with a 6-for-6 attack, while Hutchison and Aderemi-Ibitola had four kills apiece.

The Lady Flames staged a 4-0 run to build a 20-17 advantage during the third set, as Haley Jeffcoat registered two kills and Craycraft tallied a kill.  Liberty later gained match point at 24-22 with an ace by Rollins, but the Golden Flashes quickly evened the score.  In all, the hosts fought off three match point tries, and Lauren Engleman notched consecutive kills for a 27-25 set-three win.

The Golden Flashes connected at a .395 pace in the third session led by seven kills from Aderemi-Ibitola. Liberty hit .361, as four Lady Flames had at least three kills.

After a kill by Rollins tied set four, 13-13, Kent State went on a 6-0 run which included two Golden Flashes blocks.  The visitors got to within 21-16 after a Gebben kill and a KSU error.  The hosts closed to the finish, winning the fourth stanza, 25-17.

Kent State hit .188 in set four, while Liberty hit for a negative percentage.

Liberty stormed to an 8-2 lead to open set five, behind three kills from Gebben and four Kent State miscues.  The Golden Flashes, trailing 12-5, scored the next three points, including two Aderemi-Ibitola kills.  Jeffcoat then connected on a kill for a 13-8 edge, and Craycraft gave Liberty match point tries at 14-10 before Douglas ended the match with a kill.

Liberty wraps up its participation at the Kent State Mizuno Classic tomorrow, when the Lady Flames take on Marshall of Conference USA at 1 p.m.

RADFORD DEFEATS WRIGHT STATE, 26-24, 31-29, 25-13 | BOX SCORE

Fueled by career-high performances from Yacine Meyer and Rachel Fertitta, the Radford volleyball team cruised by Wright State, 3-0, on Friday evening in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge.  Set scores were 26-24, 31-29, and 25-13.

Meyer and Fertitta led the Highlanders' charge inside the WVU Coliseum as both set new career highs in kills.  Meyer posted her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and a match-high 18 digs, while Fertitta put down eight kills on 13 attempts for a career-high .615 attack percentage. 

Rachel Wiechecki finished one kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and 10 digs, while Katelyn Meeks contributed 13 digs, defensively.  Jena Braden (25) and Christine Beckham (13) combined for 38 assists in the contest. 

Marissa Aiello hit at a .355 attack clip with 13 kills on 31 attempts to lead the Raiders (1-9).  Ashleigh Lucco dished out a match-high 34 helpers, while Katie Glassmeyer chipped in a team-high 14 digs on the defensive end. 

Wright State established an early 13-6 lead in set one, forcing the Highlanders to call a timeout. From that point, RU went on a 15-7 run to grab its first advantage of the frame at 21-20. A kill from Jesse Miedema (Huron, Ohio/Huron) gave the Highlanders their first set point, but an Aiello kill extended the game. 

Radford finished the deal on the next two points when Emma Deininger put down one of her nine kills, followed by a kill from Wiechecki put the Highlanders (5-4) ahead in the match, 1-0. 

The second set would turn out to be the longest game of the season for Radford.   Once again the Raiders snatched an early lead at 13-7, prompting another timeout by the Highlanders.  On the next point, Savanna Burton hammered down a set from Beckham, sparking a 10-1 rally that put RU ahead, 17-14. 

Wright State fought back to reclaim the lead at 22-20 and eventually earned its first set point of the match at 24-23.  The Highlanders were able to win three of the next four points to set up their first crack at a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Raiders were up to the challenge; however, as they fought off three match points before Fertitta and Meyer put down back-to-back kills to give Radford a 31-29 set two victory. 

Looking to complete its third sweep of the season, the Highlanders raced out to a 10-4 lead before Wright State called a timeout.  Radford expanded its lead to 14, before Meyer sent down a Braden pass to end the match.

The Highlander defense was stifling, holding the Raiders to a .094 hitting percentage, while accumulating 61 digs and 19 blocks.

RU wraps up the tournament tomorrow with two matches.  First up is the host Mountaineers at 12:00 p.m., before battling Saint Peter's at 4:00 p.m.

HIGH POINT DEFEATS GEORGE MASON, 16-25, 27-25, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10 | BOX SCORE

The High Point University volleyball team remains unbeaten in five-set matches with a 3-2 win over George Mason on Friday at the Millis Center.  Sophomore Chelsea Davis tallied a career-high 22 kills and freshman Annemarie Chin came up with 22 digs to help HPU overcome a slow start and beat the Patriots in the High Point University Classic.

HPU trailed 2-1 after the first three sets but came back to win the final two and take the match 3-2 (16-25, 27-25, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10).  The Panthers improve to 5-0 in five-set matches and 6-3 for the season.  HPU is 2-0 in the Millis Center.

Davis set a career high in kills for the second straight match with 22 kills.  The outside hitter recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 13 digs.  Chin had a match-high 22 digs, a career high for the rookie libero.

Sophomore Kristin Heldt bounced back from a slow start to put down four kills in the fifth set, including the final point of the night and help HPU win the frame 15-10.

Seven of Davis' 22 kills came in the fourth set, a 25-17 win for the Panthers.  She hit .417 in the frame while Heldt and junior Michelle Chakirelis recorded four kills each.  George Mason fought off one set point and dished the ball to Lana Zonjic on the left side hoping to fight off another.  Maddie Simpson and Jamie McDonald blocked the attack and won the frame for HPU which forced a fifth set.

In the first set HPU saw an early 9-6 lead get erased by a 5-0 Patriots run.  George Mason took the lead 11-9 and held it for the rest of the frame.  GMU outhit High Point .206 to -.029 and limited the Panthers to seven kills.  Courtney Johnk had three kills for HPU.

The Panthers pulled off a late comeback to win the second set to even the match 1-1.  George Mason led 24-23 but a ball handling error by the Patriots' setter kept HPU alive.  Simpson served an ace to bring up match point, 25-24.  Lolade Owokoniran put down a kill for GMU to tie the score at 25-25.  Caity Farus solo blocked an attack by Danielle Cook and HPU won the set 27-25 on a kill by Davis.  Davis had eight kills in the second set.

High Point was unable to find any offensive rhythm in the third set, falling to George Mason 25-19.  The Panthers hit .074 in the frame with 12 kills.  Chin had seven digs in the set.

Senior Molly Barlow had 17 digs and freshman Wavie Chin added 14 to provide HPU with a solid back row.  Johnk totaled 12 kills and four aces in the win and Heldt finished the night with nine kills and four blocks.

The High Point University Classic continues on Saturday with an 11 a.m. match between HPU and Loyola Marymount.  LMU lost the opener of the tournament to Virginia Tech in a five-set battle.

UNC ASHEVILLE DEFEATS UNC GREENSBORO, 33-31, 18-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13 | BOX SCORE

In a match that featured 47 tie scores and 17 lead changes the UNC Asheville volleyball team earned a 3-2 (33-31, 18-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13) victory over UNCG on Friday evening at the Fleming Gymnasium as part of the 2012 Spartan-Aggie Invitational, hosted by UNCG and North Carolina A&T.

Bulldogs Holly Shelton, Anna Moore and Christine Lakatos all recorded career-highs in kills en route to the five-set victory, as the three players combined for 54 of Asheville's 71 kills.  Shelton posted a match-high 23 kills, including the final point of the match.

With the victory the Blue & White improves to 3-7 on the year while the Spartans drop to 3-2.

Moore tied a career-high in kills with 18 on the night, hitting for a .500 average from her middle blocker position.  Meredith Foster and Lakatos each tallied 13 kills, which was a season-high for Foster and a career-best for Lakatos.

Freshman setter Katie Davis recorded a career-best 58 assists in directing the Asheville offensive attack.  Defensively libero Alex Stewart tallied a season-high 21 digs while Moore earned five blocks (three solo) at the net for the Bulldogs.

With the match tied at two sets apiece the Bulldogs found themselves down 12-9 in the fifth set.  A pair of kills by Lakatos and a block by Davis tied the match at 12-12, forcing UNCG to take a timeout.  The two teams traded points to push the score to 13-13, before kills by Lakatos and Shelton ended the set and match in the Bulldogs favor.

UNCG was led offensively by Lauren Betlach, who recorded 19 kills on the night.  Setter Emily McMurtrey tallied a match-high 59 assists and Katherine Santiago posted a match-high 27 digs on defense for the Spartans.

The Spartans were strong at the net all night long, tallying 16.5 team blocks.  Vicky Harley tallied 10 blocks (one solo) to lead all players.

The Bulldogs will be back in action tomorrow when they take on American at 11 a.m., before taking on North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. at the Spartan-Aggie Invitational.

GARDNER-WEBB FALLS TO DELAWARE STATE, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-17 | BOX SCORE

Juniors Tyler Cockrell and Amanda Murphy each posted a career-high in kills, yet it was not enough as the Runnin' Bulldogs dropped a thrilling five set match to Delaware State, 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-17) in the first match of the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldog Classic on Friday afternoon in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Cockrell recorded a match-high 21 kills to go along with six total blocks, while senior right side hitter Carolina Solano tallied 12 kills and six digs in four sets of play.  Murphy totaled a career-high 11 kills with a .500 attack percentage, while sophomore setter Heather Feldman dished out a match-high 57 set assists in the loss.

Also in the loss, freshmen Callie Hildebrand and Anna Pashkova each posted double digit kills with 11 and 16, respectively.

For the Hornets, three players tallied double digit kills led by Edarkis Branch's 12 kills and 13 digs.  Both Christobel Fakaosi and Jasmine Jackson recorded double-doubles in the win.

Gardner-Webb will return to action tonight, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will play host to UM-Kansas City at 7 p.m. in Paul Porter Arena.

CAMPBELL DEFEATED BY CENTRAL MICHIGAN, 11-25, 22-25, 24-26 | BOX SCORE

Sophomore right side Brooke Kelley  tallied seven kills to lead the Campbell volleyball team on Friday afternoon in a 3-0 (11-25, 22-25, 24-26) loss to Central Michigan (5-3) at Reynolds Coliseum to open the NC State Courtyard Midtown Invitational.

The Camels (4-5) paced the match with nine team blocks and were led by junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats and sophomore Lorin Thomas with six and five blocks, respectively.

Setting up the attack was junior Heather Wilson with 18 assists.  Coats recorded six kills and was followed by sophomore outside Jessica Groen and freshman middle blocker Sam Zuber with three kills each.

The defense totaled 27 digs during the contest as sophomore libero Mallorie Cubillos tied a match-high with 11.  Freshman defensive specialist Lauren Bewick and Groen dug up four attacks each.

The Central Michigan attack was balanced as five hitters in Angelique White, Kaitlyn McIntyre, Lindsey Dulude, Daniele Gotham and Val Dewerd each achieved at least six kills in the match.  Kelley Maxwell totaled 33 assists and Jenna Coates recorded 11 digs.

The first set went to Central Michigan as it started with a large run and finished with a 25-11 victory.

In the second frame, the Camels showed more fight as a service ace from Zuber brought the team to within three early, 9-6.  The Chippewas stretched the lead to 14-7, but a 7-2 run capped by a Wilson ace closed the deficit to 19-18.

A Coats kill kept Campbell within one, 23-22, late in the frame, but Central Michigan scored the next two points to take the frame, 25-22, and earn a 2-0 lead in the match.

Campbell started the third set with a new focus and jumped out to a 3-0 lead on back-to-back kills from Groen and Kelley and a block by Thomas/Coats. Another block, this time a triple block by Thomas/Coats/Kelley, and a service ace from sophomore Chelsey Pachoud (Riverview, Fla.) would increase the lead to 5-1.

The Chippewas rallied, coming within one at 12-11, but Campbell had an answer with a block from Thomas/Coats/Wilson and consecutive kills by Groen and Kelley to increase the advantage to 20-16.

Central Michigan took its first lead of the set 25-24, following a Campbell timeout, and went on to close out the frame on the next point.

Campbell plays two matches on Saturday to conclude the NC State Courtyard Midtown Invitational beginning with the host Wolfpack at 1 p.m. before facing Western Carolina at 5 p.m.

WINTHROP DEFEATED BY ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM, 22-25, 15-25, 20-25 | BOX SCORE

The Winthrop volleyball team was swept by the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers Friday in the first game of the Carolina Clash hosted by the University of South Carolina.

With the loss, the Eagles fell to 3-5 on the season while the Blazers improved to 5-4.

In the first set Alabama-Birmingham grabbed an early 10-6 edge, but the Eagles rallied in a big way.  Winthrop went on a 9-1 run to take a 15-11 lead.  The Blazers slowly chipped away at the Eagle lead and tied the opening set at 19-19 and then took six of the last nine points to take the first set 25-22.

Winthrop hurt itself in the second set, totaling 11 hitting errors to only eight kills for a -.067 hitting percentage.  The Blazers quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead and slowly increased their lead over the Eagles, not allowing Winthrop any chance to come from behind.  Alabama-Birmingham took the second set 25-15.

In the third set, Winthrop quickly found itself down again, this time 6-0.  The Eagles responded, however, on a 7-2 run to get within 8-7, but had that quickly followed by a 4-0 Blazer run to put UAB back up 12-7.  The Eagles still had some fight and rallied to tie the third set at 15-15.  Winthrop trailed by only one at 20-19, but Alabama-Birmingham was able to close the set on a 5-1 run to take the third set 25-20 and the match 3-0.

Junior setter Stephanie Palmer led the Eagles with seven kills, 11 assists and 12 digs.  Sophomore Jennica Mullins also had seven kills to go along with five total blocks.

Winthrop struggled offensively, totaling only 30 kills and a .069 hitting percentage.  The team finished with 24 assists, seven service aces, 59 digs and seven total blocks.

The Eagles will return to the Carolina Clash on Saturday with two matches against in-state rivals.  Winthrop will face Clemson at 1:30 p.m. and the host Gamecocks at 7:30 p.m.

GARDNER-WEBB DEFEATED BY UMKC, 27-25, 22-25, 22-25, 27-25, 9-15 | BOX SCORE

The Gardner-Webb volleyball team dropped two five set thrillers on day one of the GWU Runnin' Bulldog Classic Friday, September 7th, in Paul Porter Arena on the campus of Gardner-Webb University.

GWU fell in the first match of the day at 1 p.m., 3-2, to Delaware State, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25 and 15-17, while in the nightcap, GWU suffered a 3-2 loss to UM-Kansas City, 27-25, 22-25, 22-25, 27-25 and 9-15.

The two losses drop GWU to 1-9 overall and 0-3 at home thus far this season.

For the second match, the Runnin' Bulldogs were right in the middle of a five-set thriller, as Gardner-Webb fell to the UM-Kansas City Roos 27-25, 22-25, 22-25, 27-25 and 9-15 in the nightcap Friday night.

Behind Cockrell's team-high 12 kills and five total blocks, Hildebrand posted a career-high nine kills and nine digs, while Pashkova tallied a career-high 22 digs in the loss.

The Roos' Jessica Hendin led the way with a match-high 20 kills, while also adding 13 digs, as the Roos had three players record double digit kills and five players record double digit digs in the five set win.

The first set was only a precursor of what was to come, as the two teams went back-and-forth with 11 ties and three lead changes overall.

Each team had the lead at least once, when Gardner-Webb took advantage of four straight Kansas City errors to run out to a 10-6 lead andforce a UMKC timeout.

GWU would hold on to a slight lead for most of the set, until three straight errors by the Runnin' Bulldogs allowed the Roos to take the lead at 19-18 and force a GWU timeout.

After a kill by senior Dominique Bray tied the score up at 19-19, the Runnin' Bulldogs continued to try to retake the lead, yet found themselves down one at 25-24.

Gardner-Webb fought off three match points, all of which were UMKC attack errors, to escape with a 27-25 first set win.

The second set was much the same as the first, as the neither team could pull away from the other one for most of the frame.

With the scored tied up at 10-10, on a Murphy kill, the Roos came away with three straight points to take a 13-10 lead and force a GWU timeout.

Gardner-Webb would inch its way back into the match over the next several rallies, cutting the UMKC lead to one at 19-18 on a kill from Anderson.

After a kill from Cockrell knotted the score up for a tenth time at 22-22, the Roos this time finished the set out with three consecutive kills to hold on for the 25-22 set win.

With the match tied up at 1-1, Gardner-Webb found themselves behind early in the third set at 5-2 on three GWU errors, yet battled back once more, this time using a 7-4 run, capped off by back-to-back kills from Feldman and Anderson, to take an 11-9 lead over the Roos.

The lead would quickly evaporate, as UMKC would retake the lead at 19-17 on a GWU error and aN Emily Lucas kill.

Out of a GWU timeout, the Runnin' Bulldogs would cut the UMKC lead to one at 19-18, yet would not get any closer than that as the Roos had an answer for ever GWU point and held on for the 25-22 set victory.

The fourth set, while close throughout with nine ties, only had one lead change, as Gardner-Webb overcame a 12-6 deficit to tie the score up at 15-15 on a Katie Loftin service ace.

After a Hendin kill put the Roos back in front, GWU tied the score up two more times, yet failed to take the lead and thus was behind 24-21 on four straight attack errors between the two teams.

Again GWU would fend off set point, this time four different times, as to kills by Cockrell and two UMKC errors pushed the Runnin' Bulldogs into a 24-24 tie with the Roos.

With the score tied at 25-25, GWU picked up a kill from Solano and then took advantage of a UMKC error to earn a 27-25 set win and force a fifth and decisive set.

The fifth set belonged to the UMKC, as the Roos hopped out to a 3-0 lead on the Runnin' Bulldogs.

After Gardner-Webb clawed its way back to tie the set at 5-5 and force a UMKC timeout, the Roos answered with a 7-1 run to take a 12-6 lead on a Emma Hagedorn kill.

The Runnin' Bulldogs would get kills from Cockrell and Solano down the stretch, yet failed to put together a strong run at the Roos who defeated GWU 15-9 to take the match.

The two teams combined for 27 service errors for the match, as UMKC doubled the Runnin' Bulldogs total of nine with 18 of their own.

Gardner-Webb had 10 team blocks for the match, yet were haunted one more by 32 attack errors overall.

Gardner-Webb will return to action tomorrow evening, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will face off with the Charlotte 49ers at 5 p.m. in the final match of the 2012 GWU Runnin' Bulldog Classic in Boiling Springs, N.C.