Winthrop, Liberty, Presbyterian & Radford Win


Radford Downs High Point, 3-0
RADFORD, Va. - Radford, which trailed late in every game, rallied for a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-21) sweep over High Point in Big South volleyball action Friday evening at the Dedmon Center.

The win moves the Highlanders to 12-14 overall and 6-5 in the league, while the Panthers fall to 6-19 and 4-7.

Freshman Emma Deininger (Wallingford, Pa. / Strath Haven) led the Highlanders with 10 kills on 22 swings to finish with a .364 attack percentage. Defensively, freshman Rachel Brummitt (Plano, Texas / Plano West) led both teams with 24 digs.

Game one featured 10 ties and five lead changes before the Highlanders closed on a 9-4 run to take the opener 25-23. Trailing 23-21, Radford got three straight kills from Deininger and a Panther attack error to secure the frame.

Deininger finished the set with seven kills on 12 attacks.

After Radford raced out to a 12-5 lead in game two, the Panthers responded with a 12-3 spurt to grab a 17-15 advantage. Like they did in the first, the Highlanders finished strong outscoring High Point 9-5 the rest of the way to take the second set, 25-23, and a 2-0 lead into the break.

Down 21-19 in the final game, Radford scored the last six points to win the third 25-21 and sweep the match. 

In addition to their strong finish, the Highlanders hit .438 in the third connecting on 16 of 32 attempts.

Courtney Johnk and Chelsea Davis paced the Panthers with 14 and 12 kills, respectively, while Lauren Bell had a game-high 39 assists.

Radford will conclude its 2011 home slate with a 4 p.m "Senior Day" match tomorrow afternoon against league-for Campbell.

High Point will play its final road game of the regular season on Saturday at Liberty. The match will begin at 2 p.m.

Winthrop Defeats UNC Asheville, 3-1
ROCK HILL, SC - The Winthrop volleyball team brought its conference winning streak to four straight victories as the Eagles took down UNC Asheville in four sets (25-16, 25-18, 30-32, 26-24) Friday night at the Winthrop Coliseum.
The win brings the Eagles to 17-7 mark overall and 10-2 in the Big South as UNC Asheville goes to 14-10 on the season and 7-4 in the conference.
Redshirt junior right side Brittany Blackman and senior middle hitter Becca Toor led the Eagles offense as they both posted 15 kills on the night. Behind Blackman and Toor were freshman middle blocker Jennica Mullins with 10 kills and junior defensive specialist Kristin Cruse as she found the floor with nine kills. As a team, Winthrop totaled 67 kills and a .291 hitting percentage.
The defense closed out the match with 84 digs and eight blocks. The backline was led by freshman outside hitter Lauren Landsman with 21 digs. Following Landsman was sophomore setter Stephanie Palmer with 18 and freshman libero Catherine Brusie with 15. Cruse added 10 digs as she was just a kill away from her first career double-double. Palmer dished out 49 assists as she was two kills away from her third triple-double.
Winthrop took the early advantage in the opening set, taking a lead at the 5-4 mark. The Eagles maintained a lead throughout the set and won the set in convincing fashion, 25-16. Winthrop closed out the set with 16 kills as Toor lead the way with four and a .429 hitting percentage.
The teams traded points early in the second set as both teams had leads early. The Eagles took a lead at the 11-10 mark and never looked back. Winthrop captured the set, 25-18. The Eagles finished out the set with 15 kills and a .371 hitting percentage.
The third set saw 19 ties but Asheville came with the final two points as Meredith Foster pounded a kill and an attacking error by the Eagles gave the Bulldogs the win, 32-30. Asheville closed out the set with 23 kills and a .312 hitting percentage, slightly better than Winthrop's 20 kills and .259 mark.
The Bulldogs got off to a quick start in the fourth set, taking a lead at the 18-13 mark. The Eagles stormed back in the set, making the score even, 21-21. From that point, the teams continued to trade points until a kill came from Toor and an attacking error from Asheville's Cindi Miller gave the Eagles the set and the match, 26-24. Blackman finished the set with five kills, as Landsman dug out seven.
Asheville finished the match with 61 kills, 83 digs and a .201 hitting percentage. The offense was controlled by three Bulldogs as Anna Moore posted 18 kills, Cindi Miller finished with 17 kills and Foster tallied 14 kills and a .481 hitting percentage.

Winthrop will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 5 as the Eagles will host Gardner-Webb for a 2 p.m. showdown.

Asheville will return to court tomorrow as it travels to Presbyterian College for a 2:00pm match.

GWU Volleyball Falls in Straight Sets, 3-0, at Presbyterian on Friday Night
Clinton, S.C. - In what was a back-and-forth match from start to finish, the Gardner-Webb volleyball team were unable to find consistency in their offense, falling to the Presbyterian College Blue Hose in straight sets 25-18, 25-23 and 25-21 in Big South action on Friday night in Clinton, S.C.

With the loss, the Runnin' Bulldogs fall to 9-17 overall and 4-7 in the Big South Conference, while Presbyterian improves to 12-16 overall and 6-6 in the Big South.

The loss is the Runnin' Bulldogs sixth straight to the Blue Hose and drops Gardner-Webb to 2-9 on the road overall for the year.

To start the first set, the Runnin' Bulldogs took an early 2-1 lead on back-to-back PC attack errors, only to have the Blue Hose take the lead back at 7-4 on a GWU attack error.

GWU used a 3-0 run highlighted by a Laura Wilcox kill to tie the score up at 8-8.

After the Runnin' Bulldogs tied the set up at 9-9 and 10-10, a service ace by senior Lauren Evans gave the visitors the lead back at 11-10.  However, the back-and-forth affair continued, as this time PC put together a 5-2 run to retake the lead at 16-12 on a Kelly Berryman kill.

The run swayed the momentum in favor of the Blue Hose, as PC outscored the Runnin' Bulldogs 6-2 over the next eight rallies to pull out to their largest lead of the set at 22-14.

Despite outscoring PC 4-3 down the stretch of the opening set, it proved to be too little too late as the Blue Hose held off the late GWU attack for the 25-18 set win and an early 1-0 match lead.

Again, just like in the opening set, the Runnin' Bulldogs took an early 2-0 lea d on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Tyler Cockrell and a PC attack error.  Yet this time, Gardner-Webb had a point to answer every Blue Hose run, holding off PC by one at 6-5 on a Melissa Richie kill.

The Blue Hose erased a three point lead by GWU, battling back to tie the match and then take the lead at 11-10 on back-to-back Gardner-Webb attack errors.

The score would go back-and-forth over the next several possessions with GWU holding on to a slight one point lead at 17-16 on an Evans' kill.

Presbyterian answered with back-to-back points to retake the lead from the Runnin' Bulldogs at 18-17 on an Ashtin Frank service ace.

Refusing to throw in the towel, the Runnin' Bulldogs tied the score up at 18-18 on another Evans' kill and then once more at 19-19 on a Carol Solano kill, putting the pressure back on the home team in the second set.

After falling back behind by one at 21-20 on a Rachel Hall kill, the Runnin' Bulldogs posted back-to-back points to retake the lead at 22-21, looking to tie the match score up at one set apiece.

The see-saw match would sway in favor of the Blue Hose, as PC ran off four straight points to give the home team match point at 24-22 and force Gardner-Webb to call a timeout.

A block on a PC attack by Wilcox and Solano cut the Blue Hose lead to one at 24-23, however, a Berryman kill on the very next rally ended the set with the home team in front at 25-23 and a 2-0 match lead.

Down in the match 2-0, Gardner-Webb looked to avoid the three-set loss and ran out to a 6-3 lead on a 4-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back service aces by Cockrell.  However, the Runnin' Bulldogs could not put the Blue Hose away, as PC stormed back to take a four point lead at 13-9 on a kill by Allison Brown.

Gardner-Webb cut the Presbyterian lead to two at 15-13, by way off back-to-back kills by Cockrell and fellow sophomore Amanda Murphy, only to have the Blue Hose pull out back in front by six at 21-15 on a Rachel Hall kill.

A 5-2 run by the Runnin' Bulldogs cut the Presbyterian lead back to two at 23-21 and put the visiting team within striking distance.

Yet the next two points went in favor of Caroline Cann and the Blue Hose, who finished the 3-0 match win with a 25-21 third set victory.

Both Solano and Evans recorded a team-high seven kills for the Runnin' Bulldogs, while freshman setter Heather Feldman dished out 22 set assists.

For the Blue Hose, Cann and Berryman posted 12 and 10 kills, respectively, while setter Frank totaled a match-high 39 set assists in the win.

Gardner-Webb (9-17, 4-7 Big South) will play their final road match of the regular season tomorrow afternoon, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. to do battle with the Lady Eagles of Winthrop at 2 p.m.

Presbyterian (12-16, 6-6 Big South) will play their final home match of the year tomorrow afternoon as well, as the Blue Hose will host the Asheville Bulldogs at 2 p.m. in Templeton Arena.

Liberty Claims Dramatic 3-2 Win Over Campbell
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Liberty volleyball team fought off a match-point opportunity, extending its winning streak to six with a 3-2 triumph (24-26, 25-11, 25-19, 12-25, 16-14) over Campbell, Friday evening.

Friday's match was held in front of a standing-room only crowd of 579 fans at Liberty Christian Academy.

Lillie Happel earned two kills and a block assist during the final contest's three points, helping Liberty (15-11, 10-1 Big South) claim its 10th conference win of the season. The conference-leading Lady Flames have now posted double-digit Big South victories during each of the last five seasons. Campbell falls to 12-15, 5-6 in Big South play.

Liberty has won each of the last 13 five-set matches it has played against conference opponents, dating back to the 2008 season.

Happel completed her 10th double-double of the season, registering a team-high 13 kills to go with 10 digs. Jade Craycraft dished out 40 assists and added 11 digs, good for her sixth double-double in 2011.

Junior Loren Thomas registered seven blocks, on one solo rejection and six block assists. She moved past Ashley Webber (2005-08) and Nicole Nice (1989-92), and is now in fourth place all-time at Liberty with 325 career blocks. She also tied Webber's single-season rally-scoring program record with 128 blocks this season.

Campbell held a slight advantage in kills, 55-54, hitting .221 compared to .204 for Liberty. The Camels posted 11 blocks to Liberty's 9.5, and out-dug Liberty, 64-59.

Set one went back and forth throughout. Liberty took a 17-15 lead after a Melissa Racz kill, leading to a Campbell timeout. The Camels surged ahead with a 5-1 run, with Lindsey Coats sending down a kill and earning a block assist.

The Lady Flames rallied into a tie, 22-22, as Ansley Gebben capped the skein with a kill. Five rally points ensued, after which Coats earned a kill, giving the Camels a 26-24, set-one victory.

Campbell attacked at a .375 pace in scoring 16 kills during set one, while Liberty sent down 14 kills, hitting .250. Jordan Reaves posted four kills for Campbell, while four Liberty players earned three kills apiece.

Liberty stormed out to an 11-2 lead at the start of the second set. Campbell scored the next point to make it 11-3, but that was as close as the Camels would get during the session. The Lady Flames cruised to the finish, siding out at a 100 percent clip in winning set two, 25-11.

The hosts hit .458 during the second frame, while Campbell hit -.043. Thomas earned three kills and four blocks for the Lady Flames, while Reaves totaled four of the Camels' seven kills.

Set three proved to be tightly-contested, featuring 15 ties and eight lead changes. Campbell turned a 15-14 lead into a 17-15 lead, receiving two kills from Coats during the rally. The Lady Flames scored the next four points, as Manor earned a pair of kills in aiding Liberty to a 19-17 advantage.

Campbell knotted the set at 19, but Liberty scored the final six points of set three to take a 2-1 match lead.

Both teams hit below .100 during set three, with Liberty at .069 and Campbell at .062. Coats and Kelley recorded four kills each for the visitors, while Gabrielle Shipe served up two aces.

The Camels led from the outset of set four, building a quick 10-2 advantage. The Lady Flames fought back to within eight, 14-6, after a Racz kill and a Campbell miscue. However, the guests pulled away, earning a 25-12 victory to extend the match to five sets.

Campbell attacked at a .382 clip during set four, compared to .051 for Liberty.

An electric fifth set brought the crowd to its feet. The teams traded the lead six times, and the score was tied on 10 occasions.

Happel sent down six kills during the fifth set, starting with a back-row strike for point one. She earned two kills, sandwiched around a Craycraft ace, to give Liberty a 7-4 lead. Campbell scored the next two points, but an error sent Liberty ahead, 8-6, at the changeover.

Reaves capped a 3-0 rally with a kill to claim the advantage, 9-8, for the Camels. After Liberty edged into the lead, seven sideouts followed, setting the score at 13-13. A kill by Annie Kobeski provided Campbell with match point, 14-13. Happel tied the set with a kill, and then teamed with Racz on a block, before sealing the match with a kill.

Liberty hit .304 in the fifth set, while Campbell hit .263. Reaves scored three kills during the final set.

For the match, Racz and Thomas both recorded 10 kills for the Lady Flames. Friday's match marked the second contest in a row during which Racz and Thomas both reached double-figures in kills. Haseman led Liberty with 12 digs, and Gebben recorded 10 digs. Happel and Shipe served up two aces apiece.

For the Camels, Reaves posted a double-double, turning in a match-high 14 kills and 11 digs. Kobeski recorded seven block assists and eight kills. Heather Wilson led all players with 49 assists. Lindsey Coats had 12 kills, and Brooke Kelley added 11 kills.

Liberty will close out its home schedule on Saturday, facing High Point at 2 p.m. in the Vines Center. The Lady Flames will honor their four seniors (Haseman, Courtney Boggs, Courtney Cooper and Rebecca Warren) prior to Saturday's match. Campbell heads to Radford, where the Camels will take on the Highlanders Saturday at 2 p.m.