Griffith sparks Volleyball to win over SAC co-leader Lenoir-Rhyne

SALISBURY, NC -- Sophomore Melissa Griffith (Williamsburg, VA) posted 22 kills, 23 digs and three aces as host Catawba knocked off conference co-leader Lenoir-Rhyne in four games in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Thursday night at Goodman Gym.

The Catawba Indians improve to 14-11 overall and 8-3 in the SAC, winning by the scores of 30-26, 30-24, 19-30 and 30-24. The Bears fall to 19-11 and 10-2. Melissa Powers (Bennett, NC) followed Griffith for Catawba with 20 kills and six blocks, while freshman Mai Zoua Lo (Hickory, NC) had 16 kills. Libero Missy Bartholomew (New Carlisle, IN) recorded 28 digs and setter Andi Henderson (Swansboro, NC) registered 55 assists.

Abby Smith (Virginia Beach, VA) had 24 kills and a pair of blocks to pace the Bears. Jordan Ledford (Newton, NC) added 13 kills and 29 digs. Setter Lauren McLelland (Statesville, NC) posted 61 assists and 10 digs. Lenoir-Rhyne took the early edge in the opening game, leading 10-5 following an ace by Ledford and a kill by Kathryn Phillips (Lexington, NC). Another kill by Phillips helped the Bears go on top 18-12. Catawba would rally from that point. Griffith had three kills and Nikki Bozick (Boca Raton, FL) served an ace in a six-point run the tied the game.

Catawba would score four of the next five points on two kills by Lo and an ace by Griffith to go up 22-19. A kill by Lo followed by an ace by Tiffany Andrassy (Raleigh, NC) and a kill by Powers pushed the Tribe lead to 25-20.

Powers had two kills in the final push for the 30-26 win in the game. In game two, Catawba got out to a 10-5 lead and held a 20-14 edge when Lenoir-Rhyne began to close in. A kill and an ace by Smith made it 20-16. A Smith kill and block pulled the Bears within 23-22. Griffith would kill a key point for Catawba, making the score 24-22 and after several errors the Tribe led 27-24.

Powers and Lo had kills to get to game point which came on a L-R error. Lenoir-Rhyne rolled to the win in the third game, hitting at 51%. The Bears got up 17-9 and built its advantage to 23-11. Smith had seven kills in the win, while Phillips had five kills and a pair of blocks.

Catawba surged ahead 13-8 early in the fourth game, but the Bears rallied behind four Smith kills to draw even at 16-16. Griffith delivered consecutive kills and Bozick served an ace to give Catawba a 21-18 lead. Lo and Powers had kills to put the Tribe on top 24-20, but a kill by Katie Sloan (Troutville, VA) and a block and kill by Smith got the Bears to within 24-23. A Bear error was followed by a Powers kill and combo block with Lo for a 27-23 lead. Smith closed the deficit to 27-24 with a kill for L-R, but a kill by Lo was followed by two hitting error by the Bears which gave Catawba the match.

1 2 3 4 Lenoir-Rhyne (19-11, 10-2) 26 24 30 24 Catawba (14-11, 8-3) 30 30 19 30 Leaders Kills: C - Melissa Griffith 22, Melissa Powers 20, Mai Zoua Lo 16; LR - Abby Smith 24, Jordan Ledford 13, Kathryn Phillips 11. Digs: C - Missy Bartholomew 28, Griffith 23; LR - Ledford 29, Catherine Fulton 28. Blocks: C - Powers 1-5/6, Amanda Nantz 0-4/4, Lo 0-2/2; LR - Phillips 0-4/4, Katie Novacek 1-2/3, Smith 1-1/2, Ledford 0-2/2. Assists: C - Henderson 55; LR - Lauren McLelland 61. Service Aces: C - Griffith 3, Nikki Bozick 2; LR - Smith 1, Ledford 1, McLelland 1, Novacek 1, Natalie Krause 1. ATT: 404 Time – 1:54 #######

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