High Point, Liberty and Winthrop Shine at Home


HIGH POINT DEFEATS WAKE FOREST, 16-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-13 | BOX SCORE

The High Point University volleyball team came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Wake Forest, 3-2, on Tuesday night at the Millis Center.  High Point won the fifth set, 15-13, on a block by Maddie Simpson and Jamie McDonald to finish off the victory.

The Demon Deacons took the first two sets but the Panthers pulled off the come-from-behind win with help from a rowdy Millis Center crowd.  The Panthers are 3-1 in the first week of the 2012 season.

Wake Forest took a 13-12 lead in the fifth set and forced a High Point timeout.  Sophomore Kristin Heldt put down her 14th kill of the match to tie the set and McDonald followed with a kill to bring up match point.  Kylie Hargreaves went up for the attack for WFU and Simpson and McDonald blocked her to win the match.

Courtney Johnk hit .306 with 18 kills in the win.  Chelsea Davis had a double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs while she added a career-high six blocks.  Heldt pitched in 14 kills and three aces.

Wake Forest took an early lead in the first set and was able to hold off every run made by the Panthers.  The Deacs led 5-1 early in but High Point cut the lead to one point, 7-8, on a kill by Heldt.  Wake Forest worked the lead back to seven points at 16-9 and held on the rest of the way to win the set 25-16.  The Demon Deacons outhit High Point .464 to .133 in the frame.

High Point rallied to tie the second set 23-23 on a kill by Johnk.  Heldt had started the rally with two aces to cut Wake's lead to 20-22.  After Johnk tied the set with her seventh kill of the match, Wake Forest got kills from Kristin Grissom and Ashlee Rusk to pull out the 25-23 win. Davis had six kills in the set.

High Point took its first lead of the night in the third set.  Johnk and McDonald combined for a block to tie the set 7-7.  Johnk followed with a kill and Heldt aced the Deacons to put High Point on top 9-7.  Wake Forest took a brief lead, 16-15, but Johnk answered with a kill and tied the set.  McDonald aced the Demon Deacons to give High Point the final lead of the set and High Point went on to win 25-20.  The Panthers had four aces in the win, one each by Heldt, Johnk, Davis and McDonald.

Simpson served three straight aces to give High Point a 23-16 lead in the fourth set.  Wake Forest answered with a three-point run to cut the lead to 23-19.  Heather Kraft served the ball in to the net for the Deacs and McDonald and Davis blocked Rusk to win the set for High Point 25-19.

Simpson finished the match with 47 assists, 14 digs and three blocks.  McDonald had a career-high eight blocks and Molly Barlow added 16 digs.

High Point goes back on the road this weekend with three games at the War Eagle Invitational hosted by Auburn.  High Point will face Jacksonville State and Auburn on Friday and Georgia Southern on Saturday.


The Winthrop volleyball team won its home opener Tuesday, 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-23) over Southern Conference opponent Appalachian State University.

The Eagles improved to 3-1 on the season while the Mountaineers fell to 0-4.  The Eagles improved to only 3-7 against Appalachian State inside the Winthrop Coliseum and 6-18 all-time.

Appalachian State came out strong to start the first set, grabbing the early lead from the Eagles, 12-9.  The Mountaineers extended their lead to 16-12, forcing head coach Julie Torbett into a timeout.  Following the break, the Eagles went on a 9-3 run to take a 21-19 lead.  After Appalachian squared the set again at 21-21, Winthrop took four of the final six points of the set to take the first 25-23.

The Eagles had a roller coaster of a second set.  Winthrop used a 7-0 run early in the set to open an 11-3 lead and continued to lead at 14-6, forcing the Mountaineers to take a timeout.  The break worked as Appalachian State slowly worked its way back into the set, fighting all the way back to tie the set at 23-23 and earning a set point at 24-23.  Winthrop fought off that set point and another at 25-24.  Junior Stephanie Palmer and freshman Amy Zimmer combined for a huge block to give Winthrop a 26-25 lead before senior Carolyn Weed recorded a big kill to give the Eagles the 27-25 second-set victory.

The third set was tight to begin, but the Eagles were able to use an 11-2 run to open an 18-10 lead.  The Mountaineers again fought back and got within 21-17.  Winthrop had match point at 24-19, but Appalachian State earned four-straight points to get within 24-23, but the Eagles were able to hold on for the 25-23, third-set victory.

Palmer led the Eagles with nine kills and 22 assists.  Senior Carolyn Weed also added eight kills.  Freshman Monica Cardona led the team with 16 digs.  Zimmer had a solid night at the net, recording seven block assists while the team recorded 11 total team blocks.

The Eagles will next take part in the Wake Forest Invitational Friday and Saturday.  Winthrop will face Davidson at 4:30 p.m. Friday with matches against UNC Wilmington and Wake Forest at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively Saturday.

LIBERTY DEFEATS WILLIAM & MARY, 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-21 | BOX SCORE

On the strength of an impressive defensive effort, the Liberty volleyball team picked up a 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-21) win over the visiting William & Mary Tribe on Tuesday at the Vines Center.

With the win, the Lady Flames improve to 3-1 on the season, claiming victory in their home opener for the fourth year in a row.  William & Mary falls to 1-3 with the loss.

Liberty totaled 14.5 team blocks, its most since posting 17 blocks at Winthrop on Oct. 21, 2011.  The Tribe held a slight edge in digs, 69-67, and led the Lady Flames by 14 in kills.  Errors proved costly for the visitors, however as they committed 28 attack errors and 12 service errors.

Caroline Douglas led the Lady Flames with 12 kills and added four blocks, while Ansley Gebben chipped in nine kills and five blocks.  Loren Thomas totaled a season-high nine blocks, and Jade Craycraft recorded 30 assists, seven kills and four blocks.  Gabrielle Shipe collected a career-high 22 digs, while Lillie Happel registered 13 digs and Becca Haraf had 11.

For the Tribe, Paulette Grand Pre (13 kills, 15 digs) and Dessi Koleva (12 kills, 13 digs) both recorded double-doubles.  Molly Krull led all players with 36 assists, and Liz Brown added 12 kills.

The Lady Flames led from 3-2 until the end of set one, building an 18-10 lead thanks to an 11-5 run that saw a pair of Craycraft kills and two block assists from Thomas.  Trailing 21-13, William & Mary then staged an 8-3 run to draw to within three, 24-21, before Caroline Douglas ended the first set with a kill.

William & Mary suffered from errors, both forced, in the form of four Liberty blocks, and unforced in the form of five service errors, during set one.

The Tribe quickly gained control of the second set, pushing its lead to 19-10 with an 11-3 run during which Krull and Carolyn Albright had two kills apiece.  Liberty inched back into the set, but could get no closer than five points, which came at 24-19 on an Allie Reynolds ace.  Brown ended set two, 25-19, with a kill to knot the match.

The Tribe hit .316 during set two, compared to .179 for the Lady Flames.

The Lady Flames and Tribe played a back-and-forth third set, one which included nine ties and four lead changes.  William & Mary held a 15-11 lead midway through the set, but Liberty then went on an 11-4 run to regain the lead at 22-19.  Craycraft figured in on three blocks and had two kills during Liberty’s run.  Liberty led, 24-21, until the Tribe rallied to tie it at 24-24, and Happel sent down a kill for a 26-24 Lady Flames win and a 2-1 match lead.

Liberty outhit William & Mary, .250 to .189, in set three, and totaled 4.5 team blocks during the session as well.

The Lady Flames took control of set four with a 10-3 run that turned a 10-10 tie into a 20-13 Lady Flames lead.  Liberty totaled three blocks during the run, including two Gebben-Thomas rejections.  A pair of Liberty miscues brought the Tribe to within two, 21-19, but Craycraft sent down a kill to end the visitors’ rally, and later assisted on Douglas’ match-winning kill.

Liberty had five team blocks in the fourth set, holding the Tribe to an .087 hitting percentage.

Liberty will play its next nine matches away from Lynchburg, starting with three contests at the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic, held Friday and Saturday in Orlando, Fla., the hometown of Lady Flames teammates Thomas, Shipe, Gebben.


Four Runnin’ Bulldogs posted six kills or more on Tuesday night, yet it wasn’t enough as Gardner-Webb fell at Davidson in straight sets 3-0 (13-25, 18-25, 23-25) in non-conference play at Davidson, N.C.

Gardner-Webb senior right side hitter Carolina Solano paced the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ attack with a team-high seven kills, while junior Tyler Cockrell and freshmen Callie Hildebrand and Tyra Montour all tallied six kills apiece in the loss.  Sophomore setter Heather Feldman dished out 24 set assists, while libero Anna Pashkova picked up a match-high 15 digs over three sets of play.

For Davidson, Caroline Brown led the way with a match-high 12 kills to go along with 13 digs, while setter Ariel Lay posted 30 set assists and eight digs in the win.

The loss drops Gardner-Webb to 0-4 overall on the year, while Davidson kick starts their 2012 season off at 1-0.

Gardner-Webb shook off a sluggish start in which they found themselves down 2-0 early in the opening set, to battle back and tie the set up at 8-8 on back-to-back errors by the Wildcats.  However, a 4-0 run by Davidson, with the help of two consecutive Runnin’ Bulldog attack errors, pushed the home team in front at 12-8 and forced head coach Leo Sayles to use is first time out of the frame.

Out of the timeout, the Wildcats’ offense continued its torrid pace, running five straight points to take a nine point lead at 17-8 and force another Gardner-Webb timeout.

After a Davidson service ace and a Gardner-Webb ball handling error, a kill by junior middle blocker Amanda Murphy ended the Wildcats run at 11 straight points and put the score at 19-9.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs would pick up back-to-back blocks by the duo of Cockrell and Montour, and then a third block from Feldman and Cockrell to cut the Davidson lead back to 10 at 23-13.

The Wildcats, who hit .250 as a team in the first set, scored the final two points of the set to down Gardner-Webb 25-14 and take an early 1-0 match lead.

Again Gardner-Webb would be haunted by a long Davidson scoring run in the second set, as after a Wildcat error tied the score up at 2-2, the home team used a 6-0 run highlighted by a Brown kill to run out to an 8-2 lead over the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

After Gardner-Webb called a timeout to regroup and attempt to slow down the Wildcats, the Runnin’ Bulldogs picked up a service ace from junior Emily Holte, a kill by Hildebrand and another kill by Cockrell to cut the Davidson lead to three at 11-8.

Each team recorded a service error after a Davidson timeout, which was followed by a kill by Gardner-Webb’s Solano to cut the Wildcats lead to two at 12-10.

One kill each by Cockrell and Solano would be all that Gardner-Webb could score over the next several rallies, as Davidson used a 9-2 run to once again pull out in front of the Runnin’ Bulldogs by seven at 19-12.

Inconsistency down the stretch for Gardner-Webb allowed the Wildcats to pull away for the 25-18 second set win, as kills by Cockrell, Hildebrand and Murphy were overshadowed by three Runnin’ Bulldog unforced errors in the loss.

Down 2-0 in the match, the Runnin’ Bulldogs got off to another slow start in set three, falling behind 3-0 on Davidson kill by Brown. 

Gardner-Webb answered back with a 7-3 run highlighted by two kills from both Solano and Hildebrand to take its first lead at 7-6 since the start of the second set.

After a Davidson timeout, the two teams traded points back-and-forth, until a kill by Cockrell and a Wildcat error pushed Gardner-Webb’s lead to two at 10-8.

Three straight points from Montour, by way of back-to-back kills and a solo block, allowed the Runnin’ Bulldogs to retake the lead at 14-12 and force the Wildcats to use their second timeout of the set.

The tight set continued until two ties and a lead change later, the Wildcats used a 7-2 run to take a 19-16 set lead.  However, the Runnin’ Bulldogs refused to quit and cut the Wildcats lead to one at 20-19 and then battled off three match points before ultimately falling to Davidson 25-23 for the set.

Gardner-Webb (0-4) will return to action this weekend, as the Runnin’ Bulldogs will compete at the Elon Phoenix Classic hosted by Elon University in Burlington, N.C.  Gardner-Webb is scheduled to take on Elon at 7 p.m. on Friday night and then will turn around to face off with Alabama at 10 a.m. and N.C. Central at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.



The Campbell volleyball team dropped its match on Tuesday to UNC Wilmington, 3-0 (25-17, 29-17, 25-15), at Hooper Hall.  Sophomore outside Jessica Groen led the team with seven kills, while classmate right side Brooke Kelley added six.

The Camels fell to 2-2 on the season, but forced two sets points against UNCW (3-1) in the second frame before the Seahawks took a 29-27 win.

Distributing the ball on the attack was junior setter Heather Wilson with 24 assists as eight Camels notched a kill.  Freshman middle blocker Sam Zuber posted five kills, followed by Lindsey Coats with four.

The back row was paced by freshman libero Lauren Bewick, who tied a match-high with 12 digs.

Contributing eight digs was freshman Katelyn Layden with eight, while seven digs each were added by junior outside Chelsey Pachoud and Wilson.

The Camels showed their fight in the second set as the team faced a 20-16 deficit.  Campbell went on to score six of the next eight points to knot the contest at 22 on a block by sophomore Lorin Thomas and Coats.

After holding off two set points, the Camels rallied to earn a set point of their own at 26-25 following a Zuber kill.  Another set point was awarded for Campbell following a Groen kill, 27-26, but the Seahawks would score the next three points to earn the victory.

UNCW was strong at the service line during the contest as the team registered six aces. Morgan Kline and Christi Laite led the offensive attack with 12 kills each. 

Campbell is off to Williamsburg, Va., on Friday to compete against Georgetown at 4:30 p.m. in the Tribe Invitational.

The Camels will face host William & Mary on Saturday at 10 a.m. before playing Manhattan at 4:30 p.m. to round out the weekend.

The first home contest at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center is the Big South opener against High Point on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.


The Presbyterian College volleyball team forced two games into extra points but could not pull out the victory, falling to East Tennessee State, 3-0 (25-27, 19-25, 26-28), in the home opener tonight at the Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C.

Leading the Blue Hose was Rachel Hall with 14 kills and just four errors for a .417 hitting percentage.  She was followed by Presley Mabrey with 11 kills.  Ashtin Frank posted 37 of the team's 41 assists, while Mary Trimpe recorded 17 digs.  The team had 41 kills and 26 errors for a .128 hitting percentage.  PC posted nine team blocks with Hall pacing the team with four block assists and one block solo.

Leading the Bucs was Megan Devine with 12 kills.  She was followed by Meredith Hardy with her 10 on the night.  The team had 39 kills and 18 errors for a .194 hitting percentage.  ETSU posted 18 team blocks with Harding pacing the team with her seven block assists and three block solos.

The Blue Hose fall to 1-4 overall, while the Bucs move to 4-1 on the year.

Down 17-18 in the first set, the Blue Hose fought back, capitalizing on a kill by Mabrey and two by Kelly Berryman, to score four unanswered and take a 21-18 lead.  Presbyterian built a 23-20 lead until ETSU erased the lead, tying it up at 24-24 off a kill be Devine.  An ETSU service error gave the Blue Hose game point but the Bucs used a kill by Hardy and two PC miscues to take the 27-25 win.

ETSU built a 21-15 lead in the second game before Presbyterian rallied to cut the margin to five, 18-23, off kills by Mabrey and Hall.  The rally would be too little too late as the Bucs rattled off two of the next three points to take the 25-19 win.

Presbyterian opened the third game on a roll, building a 14-7 lead as Hall, Mabrey and Allison Brown posted multiple kills.  ETSU began chipping away at the lead, using a 10-4 run to tie the game at 18-18.  The Bucs took the lead, 22-19, before kills by Berryman, Brown and Hall brought the Blue Hose back, tying the game at 24-24.

An attack error gave Presbyterian game point but an ETSU kill tied the game at 25-25. Set point came again for the Blue Hose off a Hall kill, but the Bucs responded with one of their own to make it 26-26.  Presbyterian had a kill attempt blocked to give ETSU match point, while a Blue Hose attack error gave the Bucs the game and match, 28-26.

The Blue Hose travel to Bloomington, Ill., Aug. 31- Sept. 1, to take part in the Redbird Classic.  Presbyterian takes on host Illinois State Friday at 7 p.m. (ET).

RADFORD DEFEATED BY HAMPTON, 13-25, 22-25, 28-26, 23-25 | BOX SCORE

Despite the 3-1 loss, the Radford volleyball team was in contention until the very end of three of those four sets, before Hampton dashed any Highlander comeback on Tuesday evening inside Holland Hall.
Freshman Cheyanne James led Radford (2-2) with nine kills, 13 digs and three aces in the non-conference tilt. Junior Emily Carlin contributed 13 digs, while Jena Braden and Christine Beckham combined for 34 helpers.
Krista Kraskura erupted for a match-high 21 kills, to go along with 17 digs, while hitting at a .370 clip for the Pirates (2-3). Sonja Maksimovic chipped in a match-high 21 digs and Biblany Fonseca dished out a match-high 30 assists.
Hampton jolted out of the gates with a 16-4 lead in the first frame. Radford won three of the next four points to pull within 10, but the Pirates ended up taking the set, 25-13.
After the Highlanders won the first two points of the second stanza, the two in-state foes traded points for a while until the hosts snatched a 14-11 edge following a Kraskura kill. Radford claimed the next three points to pull all square, but Hampton won the next five points to create separation. The Highlanders rallied late in the set, trimming the deficit to 23-22, before the hosts took the final two points for a 25-22 win in the second game.
With the score tied at 3 in the third set, the Pirates reeled off four straight points to once again grab an early lead.  Hampton extended the lead to 15-10, prompting a Highlander timeout. Radford responded with the next five points going their way to tie the game.  The two squads battled over the next several points with neither team creating breathing room.
Tied at 22, the Highlanders set up their first set point, but Hampton answered with three straight points to snare a 25-24 edge.  Radford fought off match point and earned its second chance of ending the set with a 26-25 lead, but Maksimovic knocked down a kill to tie the game once more.
Yacine Meyer found the floor for one of her seven kills on the next exchange to earn a third set point for RU.  The third time proved to be the charm as a Maksimovic attack error gave the Highlanders the 28-26 victory in the third set.
A tight battle ensued to begin the fourth game, with neither team able to mount a rally. With an 11-10 advantage, the Pirates went on a 5-0 run to establish the first big lead of the set. After a Radford timeout, the squad cut its deficit to 17-15 following a Nicole Lambert kill.  At 19-17, an Emma Deininger kill sparked a 4-0 spurt that allowed the Highlanders to go ahead by one.
However, Hampton had an answer as it won four of the next five points to reclaim the lead at 23-21.  Deininger won the next point off a feed from Braden, but Kraskura pounded down the ensuing exchange to set up the first match point for the Pirates.
Rachel Wiechecki staved off the point, however, to keep Radford's hopes alive.  Kraskura drilled her final kill on the next point to give Hampton the 25-23 win in the fourth set and the match victory.
Radford will look to rebound when it returns to the Dedmon Center for the squads' home-opening tournament – the La Quinta Inn and Suites Highlander Invitational.  Radford opens with St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday at 6:00 p.m.