Volleyball Holds Off Lenoir-Rhyne to Take Five-Game Win


HICKORY, NC -- Catawba held off host Lenoir-Rhyne to claim a five-game win in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Tuesday night at Shuford Gym.  The Catawba Indians won by the scores of 30-25, 30-28, 19-30, 23-30 and 15-11 and improve to 21-4 overall and 6-3 in the SAC.  The Bears fell to 14-11 and 3-5.

Catawba jumped out to an early lead in the opening game, grabbing a 12-5 edge after consecutive kills by setter Andi Henderson (Swansboro, NC/Swansboro HS).  The Bears clawed back to within 27-25 late, but Mai Zoua Lo (Hickory, NC/Foard HS) killed off a point for a 28-25 Catawba lead and Melissa Powers (Bennett, NC/N. Moore HS) k had a kill for the final point.

Lenoir-Rhyne used an 11-1 run to take a 16-6 lead in game two.  Hannah Stewart served on ace during the run, while Samantha Freese added two more.  The Bears led 20-11 before Catawba climbed back.  Powers had two kills to help the Indians get within 23-18 and Jessica Cleary (Boca Raton, FL/Olympic Heights HS) served five straight points to tie the game.  After falling behind 26-23, Lo served two aces to draw Catawba level and Powers added two kills for a 29-26 lead and later killed off the final point.

Aces by Stewart and Freese along with two kills by Kassi Henry keyed a 7-1 run to put the Bears up 15-9 in game three.  Another ace by Stewart pushed the lead to 27-15 and led to the win.  The Bears also controlled the fourth game, but an ace by Nikki Bozick (Boca Raton, FL/W. Boca HS) had Catawba within 20-18.  Five straight points on the serve of Freese, which started and ended with kills by Henry put the Bears up 26-18.

Game five went back and forth until the end.  Catawba scored three straight points for an 8-5 lead, but Caroline Albertelli had three straight kills to help LR grab a 9-8 edge.  With the game tied at 11-11, the Lady Indians reeled off the final four points for the win.  Melissa Griffith (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette HS) and Powers had kills with the final point coming on a combo block by Powers and Lindsey Spears (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes HS).

Powers posted 21 kills to lead Catawba with 14 coming in the first two games.  Griffith had 14 kills and 17 digs, while Lo added 13 kills and 13 digs.  Henderson had 50 assists and 15 digs.  Katie Novacek led the Bears with 20 kills with Henry adding 19 and Albertelli 18.  Lauren McLelland had 60 assists and 22 digs, while Stewart had 23 digs and four aces.

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