Volleyball Suffers Opening Round Loss At SAC Tournament


MARS HILL, NC -- Lincoln Memorial knocked off third-seeded Catawba in five sets in the opening round of the 2008 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Stanford Arena.  The sixth-seeded Lady Railsplitters won by the scores of 23-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-21 and 16-14 to improve to 20-12 and will face second-seeded Carson-Newman in a Friday semifinal.  The Catawba Indians, ranked third in the region, falls to 20-10 and will await an at-large bid to the NCAA II Tournament which will be announced on Sunday.

Amanda Horenkamp led LMU with 19 kills, while Alicia MacIntyre recorded 24 digs.  Kodi Cartwright had nine kills, seven digs and seven blocks with setter Lauren Kiwacka posting 43 assists, 15 digs and three blocks.  Melissa Powers (Bennett, NC/N. Moore HS) led Catawba with a match-high 24 kills. 

Trailing two sets to one, LMU fought off Catawba to take the win.  The Lady Railsplitters used a six-point run early in the fourth set to grab an 11-6 lead which they would not surrender.  Catawba got within 20-17, but hitting errors helped LMU to a 23-17 edge.  Powers killed off three of the next four points to trim the Lady Indian deficit to 23-21 then kills by Horenkamp and Alison Hess gave LMU the set.

A Horenkamp kill opened the fifth set and teams would trade points until a Powers kill gave Catawba a 7-6 lead.  The teams would again trade points before consecutive kills by Horenkamp put LMU up 9-8.  Tied at 12-all, a Catawba service error and ball handling error would give the Lady Railsplitters a pair of match points, but a kill by Mai Zoua Lo (Hickory, NC/Foard HS) and a LMU ball handling error staved off both to tie things up at 14-14.  LMU would score the next two points to win the match on kills from Caitlin Hankins and Horenkamp.

Catawba held a 13-9 lead in the opening set before a six-point LMU run gave the Lady Railsplitters a 15-13 edge.  Catawba would fight back late, getting a kill from Shay Meeks (Kings Mountain, NC/Kings Mountain HS) and an ace from MacKenzie White (Salisbury, NC/Carson HS) to tie things at 22-all.  Caitlin Hankins killed a point for a 23-22 LMU lead, but Lo sandwiched a pair of kills around one from Megan Courson (Statesville, NC/W. Iredell HS) to give Catawba the set.

The Lady Indians held a 10-7 lead in the second set before Lincoln Memorial took control.  The Lady Railsplitters went on a 14-3 to move out to a 21-13 edge.  Horenkamp had three kills in the run, while Cartwright had a pair of combo blocks. 

Lincoln Memorial ran out to an early 9-3 lead in the third set before Catawba rallied.  Melissa Griffith (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette HS) had three kills in a push that pulled the Lady Indians even at 12-all.  Griffith had a kill and block to snap a 19-19 tie and propel Catawba to the set win, but LMU then took the final two sets.

Four Catawba players posted double-doubles.  Powers added 16 digs to her match-high kill total, while Griffith had 16 kills and 14 digs.  Lo posted 13 kills and a team-high 21 digs with Courson totaling 55 assists and 13 digs to go along with seven kills.

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