NEWBERRY, S.C. – Behind a match-high 12 kills from sophomore Maya Learmonth and senior Emily Conlin's third double-double of the season, the Anderson University volleyball team wrapped up its six-match road swing by rallying from an early one-set deficit to defeat Newberry, 3-1 (25-27, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19, 25-8) in South Atlantic Conference action, Tuesday night at Eleazer Arena.
"We are happy we were able to pick up a road win on a tough passing night for both teams," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "Fortunately, our serving was on point for the most part and our offense got it going a little bit late in the match. We are having some growing pains in the back row but hopefully we will steady out going forward."
Anderson improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in league play with its second straight victory and fourth win in five outings. Newberry (2-5, 0-3 SAC) dropped its third straight decision and suffered its fourth loss in five outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
With her dozen kills, Learmonth reached double-figure kills for the fifth time this season, while junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Grube notched a season-high 10 kills. Senior Hailee Wilhelm posted eight kills on the strength of a .583 hitting percentage, while recording a pair of service aces, three digs and two block assists.
Junior Regan Duty added six kills and three block assists, with Conlin notching her double-double by dishing out 32 assists and coming up with 10 digs. The Glendale, Ariz., native equaled her season-high with four service aces, while junior Christina Stacy recorded a career-high six aces, including four in the decisive fourth set. Sophomore libero Meghan DeVaux tallied a team-high 15 digs and freshman defensive specialist Alexandra Petrilli came up with 10 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans committed 11 of their 17 attack errors on the night in the opening frame, while hitting just -.025. While they nearly overcame the miscues, the Wolves outlasted AU following six ties down the stretch.
After the Trojans built an early 6-2 advantage, Newberry used a 6-1 spurt to claim its first lead since the opening point of the set. Learmonth knocked down two kills to fuel four straight points by the Black and Gold, as they quickly regained a narrow 11-8 advantage.
Neither team managed to claim more than a four-point lead in the opening set, with the Wolves taking a pair of three-point leads, at 18-15, and again at 20-17 before Stacy posted an ace and Grube knocked down a kill to even the score at 20 apiece and force a Newberry timeout.
AU took its final lead, at 23-22, on a Wolves' error, but Newberry battled back to knot the score for the ninth time and the scoreboard was even two more times before the Wolves took the set.
After Newberry jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, the Trojans responded with seven unanswered points to take an 8-5 advantage. Following three straight points from the Wolves, AU's Grube snapped the deadlock with a kill and the Trojans edged out to a three-point edge on three occasions before Newberry knotted the score at 14 apiece and again at 15-15.
With DeVaux serving and Learmonth posting three consecutive kills, the Trojans claimed a lead they would not relinquish and went on for the seven-point win.
With Conlin, then Petrilli serving, AU ripped out to an early 9-3 lead. But Newberry chipped away and rallied to knot the score eight times and eventually the Wolves claimed a 17-15 advantage.
Trailing by two, Wilhelm ignited a run that culminated with the Black and Gold closing the frame with an impressive 10-2 surge.
Behind a .667 hitting percentage, the Trojans blitzed Newberry early and built an impressive 20-5 cushion and then closed the set by scoring five of the final eight points.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The 18 service aces were a season-high for the Trojans.
• AU holds a 19-8 advantage in the overall series that dates back to the 1999 campaign.
• The Trojans swept the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 regular-season series with Newberry.
• AU has defeated Newberry in 12 of the last 13 meetings.
• The Trojans improved to 2-1 in four-set matches.
Anderson will open its home slate by playing host to Carson-Newman on Friday night. First-serve the Eagles is set for 7 p.m.