Gardner-Webb Volleyball Drops Home Opener to Wofford


GARDNER-WEBB DEFEATED BY WOFFORD, 25-23, 22-25, 15-25, 17-25 | BOX SCORE

The Gardner-Webb volleyball team took the opening set in its 2012 home opener on Wednesday night, yet dropped the next three sets to fall to the Wofford College Terriers, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 15-25, 17-25), in non-conference play in Paul Porter Arena.

The loss drops Gardner-Webb to 1-7 overall, while Wofford improves to 5-3 on the season.

GWU junior outside hitter Erin Anderson posted a career-high 16 kills to lead the Runnin' Bulldogs, while sophomore setter Heather Feldman dished out 47 set assists and eight digs in the loss.

For Wofford, Amanda Liguori tallied a match-high 17 kills to go along with 16 digs, while libero Reagan Styles added 14 digs and two aces over the four set match.

Wofford hit .312 overall as a team for the match, while the Runnin' Bulldogs posted a team attack percentage of .204 for the contest.

Yet the main difference was behind the service line, as the Terriers totaled nine service aces on the night, five more than the Runnin' Bulldogs four aces.

The two teams set a tone for an exciting match out of the gate, as the first set went back-and-forth with 15 ties and three lead changes.

Wofford took an early 1-0 lead on a Rachel Woodlee kill, only to have Gardner-Webb post back-to-back kills by junior Amanda Murphy and senior Carolina Solano to put the home team in front at 2-1.

After GWU pushed its lead to three at 8-5 on another Solano kill and then once again to three at 9-6 on another Murphy kill, the Terriers crept back into the contest to tie the score up at 13-13 on a Runnin' Bulldog service error.

The two teams then traded points for the remainder of the set, until a kill by Anderson and an attack error by Wofford's Woodlee gave the Runnin' Bulldogs the 25-23 set win and an early 1-0 match lead.

Gardner-Webb, who tallied a .300 attack percentage as a team in the first set, looked to carry over the momentum into the second frame, however, again the Terriers would stay neck and neck from start to finish.

Freshman middle blocker Tyra Montour recorded her first kill of the set to put the Runnin' Bulldogs in front at 6-3, yet two GWU attack errors and a kill by Wofford's Liguori knotted the set up at 6-6 and forced a Gardner-Webb timeout.

GWU would battle back to retake the lead at 12-11 on a kill by Anderson, only to have Wofford answer with a 5-2 run to pull out in front at 16-14.

Refusing to go away, Gardner-Webb used a 4-0 run, highlighted by kills from freshman Callie Hildebrand and junior Emily Holte, to retake the lead at 19-17 on a service ace by freshman libero Anna Pashkova.

However, GWU could not finish out the set strong, as Wofford battled back to tie the score up at 21-21 on a kill by Woodlee, then scored the final three points of the set to escape with the 25-22 set win.

The second set loss took its toll on the Runnin' Bulldogs, as with the match tied up at one set apiece, Wofford ran out to an 8-1 lead to start the third game.

Gardner-Webb's Solano spiked back-to-back kills to stop the Wofford run and cut the Terriers' lead to five at 8-3, however, the Runnin' Bulldogs failed to put together a long scoring run and found themselves down by seven at 20-13.

After a GWU timeout, the Runnin' Bulldogs again couldn't stop the Wofford offense, as the Terriers' posted a .306 attack percentage in the set to earn the 25-15 set win.

An Anderson kill for GWU opened up the fourth set, as the Runnin' Bulldogs took a 5-3 lead on a Tyler Cockrell kill in the middle of the floor.

A Gardner-Webb service error would end the Runnin' Bulldogs run and give the side out back to Wofford who would take advantage, outscoring the home team 15-7 over the next several rallies to take an 18-12 lead and force a GWU timeout.

GWU put together back-to-back points to cut the lead to four at 18-14, yet again would give Wofford the side out on another service error and push the Terriers' lead to five at 19-14.

Wofford would finish the set out with a service ace, three kills and two GWU errors to take the 25-17 set win and complete the 3-1 come from behind match victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Gardner-Webb (1-7) will return to action on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., as the Runnin' Bulldogs will take on the Delaware State Hornets in the first match of the GWU Runnin' Bulldog Classic in Paul Porter Arena.