Volleyball Gets Past Mars Hill Behind 21 Kills from Meeks


MARS HILL, NC -- Catawba claimed a four-set win over host Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Stanford Arena.  With the 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 and 25-17 victory, the Catawba Indians improve to 15-6 overall and 9-4 in the SAC, while the Lions fall to 11-8 and 6-7.

Shay Meeks (Kings Mountain, NC/Kings Mountain HS) led Catawba with 21 kills with Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) followed with 18 kills.  Whitmer added 15 digs with Meeks collecting 14.  Marissa Wixson tallied 16 kills for Mars Hill with Evie Tafunai recording 14 kills.

After the teams split the opening two sets, Catawba held on to win set three and go up 2-1.  Meeks helped Catawba overcome an early deficit in the set with consecutive kills for a 5-4 edge.  Meeks delivered a kill and followed with an ace to put the Lady Indians up 7-6 and Catawba led the rest of the set. 

Catawba pulled out to a 16-11 lead, but four straight points from the Lions, capped on a block by Wixson cut the margin to a point.  Tafunai pulled Mars Hill within 20-19, but a kill by Whitmer and an ace by Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) staked the Lady Indians to a 22-19 edge.  Meeks got a kill for a set point at 24-20 then killed off the set at 25-22.

The Lady Indians took the momentum into the fourth set, getting a kill and an ace from Whitmer to erase an early 2-0 deficit.  Leading 8-6, Catawba went on an 11-4 run to pull away.  Whitmer and Raye had a pair of kills in the run, while Emily Richardson (Salem, VA/Salem HS) added a kill and an ace.  Meeks would kill off the match point.

In the opening set, Catawba used a kill by Whitmer and two straight from Taylor Doss (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) in a 5-0 run to take a 14-9 lead.  Meeks upped the margin to 19-12 with a kill only to see the Lions rally to within 21-18 on a kill from Wixon.  Whitmer and Doss had kills for a 23-18 edge then Meeks killed off the final two Catawba points.

Tafunai had three kills in a 4-1 run that saw Mars Hill go up 11-7 in set two.  Catawba pulled within 13-12 on an ace by Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry HS), but the Lions responded and led 20-15 following a block from Doneshia Gartica.  A block from Wixon provided the set point.

Raye finished with 51 assists, 20 digs and six kills for the Lady Indians.  Richardson tallied nine kills and Young registered 31 digs.  Chelsea Larson also reached double digits in kills for Mars Hill with 10.  Becca Smith had 21 assists, while Maggie Murphy collected 26 digs.

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