DUE WEST, S.C. – A season-high .379 hitting percentage propelled the Anderson University volleyball team to a sweep of longtime rival Erskine, 3-0 (25-22, 25-10, 25-15) in nonconference action, Tuesday night at Belk Arena.
"I'm proud of how competed once we decided to match their level of excitement in the match," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "We must do a better job responding to the home team's intensity and understand the value of every point. Unfortunately, that has been a struggle at times this fall. However, it's a much better feeling to learn this lesson through a win than a loss. Look forward to seeing everyone this coming Friday."
Anderson (9-2) wrapped up its three-match road swing with its ninth victory in 10 decisions, while Erskine fell to 6-11 on the season with its fourth loss in five outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Sophomore middle hitter Noelle Knutsen led all players with 10 kills on the night, while posting a .625 hitting percentage. The native of Parker, Colo., notched all 10 kills in 16 attempts with no errors. Junior right-side hitter Regan Duty added nine kills in 16 swings and also recorded three block assists. Senior middle hitter Hailee Wilhelm, freshman Taylor Weber and sophomore outside hitter Maya Learmonth each added six kills apiece.
Sophomore Meghan DeVaux tallied a season-high four service aces – all in the second set. Senior setter Emily Conlin handed out a match-best 34 assists and came up with five digs, with junior Christina Stacy and freshman Lindsay McCurley each recording eight digs apiece.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening frame was a back-and-forth battle that featured 11 ties and five lead changes, with neither team able to build more than a five-point lead.
The Flying Fleet scored five unanswered points as part of a 6-1 outburst that snapped a 12-12 deadlock and gave Erskine an 18-13 advantage.
Staring at the five-point deficit, the Trojans chipped away and took a lead (20-19) that they would not surrender on back-to-back kills from Wilhelm. Later leading, 23-21, Duty sandwiched a pair of kills around a score by Erskine to finish off the Fleet.
The Trojans never trailed in the second set and the score was tied just once, at 2-2.
Behind an .800 hitting percentage through the early going, the Trojans built an 11-4 cushion. With AU later holding a 16-7 edge, DeVaux posted three straight service aces to give the Black and Gold a double-digit lead and Erskine was unable to get any closer than 13 down the stretch.
AU kept the pressure on in the final frame, as the Trojans pushed out to an 11-5 advantage and claimed a late double-digit lead en route to their third sweep of the season.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE NIGHT
The .379 hitting percentage was the highest for the Trojans since posting a .382 attacking accuracy in a three-set win over Converse early last season.
• The Trojans notched their eighth win in 11 meetings with the Flying Fleet.
• AU improved to 7-2 in games away from the Abney Athletic Center this season
• The Trojans are 3-1 in nonconference action.
• Noelle Knutsen has tallied double-figure kills in three consecutive matches.
Anderson opens a two-match homestand on Friday, when Tusculum invades the Abney Athletic Center for a 7 p.m. matchup.