Fast Start Propels Trojans Past Catawba

Fast Start Propels Trojans Past Catawba

ANDERSON, S.C. – Behind its fourth-highest hitting percentage of the season, the Anderson University volleyball team stretched its home win streak to 22 consecutive matches by sweeping Catawba, 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-19) in South Atlantic Conference action, Friday night at the Abney Athletic Center.

Anderson (19-2, 10-1 SAC) opened the second half of its conference slate by defeating the Lady Indians for the fourth straight time, while Catawba (5-14, 1-7 SAC) suffered its sixth consecutive setback.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Sophomore Regan Duty and freshman Liliana Kinder shared match-high honors with nine kills apiece, while sophomore Hailee Wilhelm added eight kills. Senior outside hitter Jayln Knight also tallied eight kills and came up with 10 digs on the night. Junior setter Emily Conlin dished out 35 assists and recorded 15 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Freshman Meghan DeVaux notched 11 digs, with senior Emily Conard recording nine digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED
First Set
The Trojans never trailed and snapped an early 2-2 deadlock with an 8-1 scoring outburst. Duty fueled the breakout with three kills and a block assist during the surge.

Later, with the Trojans holding a 12-5 advantage, Catawba posted a 6-1 run to trim AU's lead to just two, but Duty answered with a kill to slow the Lady Indians and AU countered by quickly rebuilding a seven-point lead before claiming the nine-point win.

Second Set
Wilhelm notched a pair of early kills as the Trojans set the tone by jumping out to an 8-2 advantage.

After the Trojans built an 11-3 cushion, the Lady Indians closed the gap to just three before AU pushed back out in front by five (18-13) on another kill from Duty. Catawba climbed within four in the final moments, but the Trojans scored the final four points of the set.

Third Set
The Lady Indians took their first lead of the night in the third frame and pushed out to an 8-5 advantage, before the Trojans capitalized on a pair of Catawba errors to knot the score for the fifth time at eight apiece.

With the score later deadlocked at 11-11, the Trojans steadily pushed out to a 21-14 lead on a kill by freshman Noelle Knutsen. But the Lady Indians took advantage of AU miscues and pulled within three, at 21-18, before freshman Maya Learmonth halted the Catawba comeback with her first kill of the set. Learmonth and Shugart then combined on a block to force a Catawba timeout.

Following the break, junior Kathryn Hughes knocked down a kill and following a score by the Lady Indians, Shugart polished off the win with her third kill of the frame.

ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Trojans' .309 hitting percentage was the fourth-highest of the season.

NOTABLES
• The Trojans improved to 7-0 at home this season and stretched their home win streak to 22 consecutive matches.
Hailee Wilhelm and Liliana Kinder combined for their 17 kills with just one error in 37 attempts.
Regan Duty has 32 kills in the last three matches.
Jayln Knight narrowly missed earning her ninth double-double of the season.
• The Trojans have swept 11 opponents this season.

UP NEXT
Anderson will get back on the court Saturday, when the Trojans play host to Queens in the first matchup between the two schools this season. First-serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Abney Center.

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