Powers Posts 28 Kills As Volleyball Grabs Key League Win At Tusculum


GREENEVILLE, TN -- Catawba dropped the opening set, but rallied back to knock off host Tusculum in four sets in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Pioneer Arena.  The Catawba Indians won by the scores of 18-25, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-11 to improve to 19-9 overall and 10-5 in the SAC.  The Pioneers fall to 20-10 and 8-7.

Senior Melissa Powers (Bennett, NC/N. Moore HS) led Catawba with a match-high 28 kills.  She hit at 61.5%, making just four errors in 39 swings.  She added five blocks and five digs.  Fellow senior Melissa Griffith (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette HS) added 15 kills and 14 digs. 

Tusculum took the opening set behind Katie Luebke, who accounted for five of the first 10 Pioneer points with kills.  The Pioneers fought off an early 3-1 deficit with a 9-2 run that gave Tusculum a 10-5 lead.   TC stayed ahead by four points or more the rest of the set.

Catawba evened things in set two and began to take control.  After hitting just 10% in the opening set, the Lady Indians hit 35% in set two, recording 16 kills with just two errors.  Tusculum had the early lead following a pair of kills by Carly Swisher and an ace and kill from Heather MacArthur in a five-point run that gave the hosts a 10-7 lead. 

A kill and block from Powers helped Catawba tie the set, keying a 10-3 run the put the Lady Indians up 17-13.   A kill by Gina Coffaro brought the Pioneers within a point at 19-18, but Catawba reeled off the final six points, including two kills and a block by Powers.

Catawba used the momentum from the second set to grab a 9-4 edge in set three following consecutive aces by Powers.  Griffith had a kill and ace as the edge grew to 14-7 and eventually to 18-9.

Catawba put the match away, hitting 57% in the final set, racking up 19 kills.   Powers had six early kills as the Lady Indians races to a 12-3 lead.  A seven-point run pushed the margin to 20-5 and left no doubt about the outcome.  Powers had three kills and a block and Mai Zoua Lo (Hickory, NC/Foard HS) added two kills and a block in run.

Swisher led Tusculum with 11 kills.  Luebke recorded 13 digs, but finished with only eight kills after her hot start.  MacArthur added nine kills and four blocks.  Catawba hit at 31.3% for the match after the slow start.  The Pioneers had its best set in the opener at 29%, but finished at just 16.7%.

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