NEWBERRY, S.C. – With a pair of players in double-figure kills and by holding Newberry to a -.047 hitting percentage, the Anderson University volleyball team ran its win streak to 14 consecutive matches by blanking the Wolves, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-18) in South Atlantic Conference action, Friday night at Eleazer Arena.
"We played well in spots tonight but it wasn't one of our better overall performances," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "Newberry served us pretty tough and we need to respond sooner in that situation. However, even though our offense wasn't quite as sharp, our defense did a great job of controlling the net and keeping their attack off our floor."
Anderson swept the regular-season series and improved to 19-3 overall and 13-1 in league action with its ninth win in 10 meetings with the Wolves, while Newberry (8-15, 4-12 SAC) suffered its seventh straight setback.
Senior middle blocker Rachel Burts shared match-high honors with 10 kills on the strength of a .412 hitting percentage and added four block assists. Senior outside hitter Marissa Mitter also notched 10 kills and 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Senior Serena Jackson tallied five kills and three block assists, with junior Jayln Knight adding five kills and 12 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Hughes posted five kills, while sophomore setter Emily Conlin dished out 32 assists and came up with a match-best 17 digs. Junior libero Emily Conard notched 13 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
AU rallied from an early two-point deficit to knot the score five times before the Trojans took advantage of back-to-back errors and rattled off four unanswered points to take a lead they would not surrender, at 15-11.
The Black and Gold edged out to an eight-point lead before capturing the double-digit win.
The Trojans used an early 12-3 scoring outburst to take a double-digit lead and break open the set. Burts posted a pair of block assists and two kills to fuel the outburst, while Mitter paced the squad with four kills during the frame.
The frame was deadlocked four times before Mitter's first kill of the set gave the Trojans the lead for good, at 12-11. AU pushed out to a 17-13 advantage before Newberry battled back within one.
Knight's third kill of the set boosted AU's lead to 18-16 and after the Wolves trimmed the deficit to 18-17, back-to-back kills from Burts sparked a 7-1 run to close the set.
• The Trojans are holding opponents to a .108 hitting percentage.
• Conlin has recorded 11 double-doubles on the season.
• Mitter has 10 double-doubles on the season.
• Conard has reached double-figure digs on 15 occasions this season.
• Following Friday night's action, the Trojans are 1/2 game in front of Wingate in the conference standings and 2 1/2 games ahead of third-place Queens.
"Newberry holds a special place in mine and my family's hearts," added Hay. "They gave me my first head coaching job and we are eternally grateful."
Anderson will look to build on the momentum when the Trojans visit Coker, Saturday afternoon in Hartsville, S.C. First-serve versus the Cobras is scheduled for 3 p.m.