Volleyball secures SAC title with sweep of Lenoir-Rhyne

SALISBURY, NC Catawba College earned at least a share of the 2002 South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Championship with a three-game sweep over visiting Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym. Sophomore Crissi Harrison (Hickory, NC) had a dozen kills to pace Catawba, while sophomore Crystal Bonner (Yadkinville, NC) equaled a career-high with 10 kills and added 15 digs and four aces. The Lady Indians completed a perfect 13-0 home mark in 2002 and stretched a home-court win streak to 18 games dating back to last season. Catawba improves to 22-6 overall and 13-1 in the SAC with the 30-26, 30-27 and 31-29 win. The Bears fall to 11-20- and 2-12. Lenoir-Rhyne jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the opening game, the largest margin until the final point by Catawba. Heather Hawkins (Troutman, NC) had a pair of kills as Catawba took a 16-14 lead, but the Bears fought back to take a 17-16 lead. Harrison had a three kills and another by Hawkins put Catawba back up 20-18. Tied at 24-24, Bonner had four kills down the stretch to give Catawba the winning points. Bonner delivered back-to-back aces to give Catawba a 12-6 lead in the second game and later added a pair of kills for a 28-21 advantage. Holly Tompkins (Camden, SC) tried to pull the Bears even, recording four straight kills to pull Lenoir-Rhyne within 29-27, but an error would give the final point to the Lady Indians. Hope Miller (Newton, NC) had six kills and a block in the game for Catawba. Tompkins had three kills and an ace as Lenoir-Rhyne stayed even with Catawba early in the deciding game at 10-10. Senior Rachel LaRoche (Wilmington, DE) had three kills in a stretch where Catawba pulled ahead 16-14, but a kill and block by Tompkins helped the Bears to an 18-16 advantage. Bonner had three kills in a 7-3 run that recaptured the lead for the Lady Indians at 23-21, but Leslie Hinkle (Ledford, NC) had four kills in a run that put Lenoir-Rhyne up 28-27. A kill by Harrison and an ace by Katie Moore (Haymarket, VA) gave Catawba a 29-28 lead, then an error left the score tied at 29-29. Senior Meredith Jones (Eden, NC), who had 25 assists, earned a kill for a 30-29 lead. Elizabeth Hewitt (Hickory, NC) delivered the championship point with a kill for the 31-29 win. Catawba had three seniors playing their final home game. LaRoche finished with 10 kills, five digs and a block, Jones had 25 assists, a kill and four digs and Lettie Wilkes (Williamsport, MD) had 14 assists, six digs, a block and a kill. Hinkle and Tompkins led Lenoir-Rhyne with 13 kills, while Hinkle added 13 digs. Carolyn Prescott (Exeter, NH) had 32 assists. MATCH SCORES 1 2 3 Lenoir-Rhyne (11-20, 2-12) 26 27 29 Catawba (22-6, 13-1) 30 30 31 Leaders Kills: C - Crissi Harrison 12, Rachel LaRoche 10, Crystal Bonner 10; LR - Leslie Hinkle 13, Holly Tompkins 13, Rebekah Steinlin 11 Digs: C - Erin Naumann 22, Bonner 15, Hope Miller 12; LR - Hinkle 13, Casey Ledford 10, Brandi Rickert 10 Blocks: C - Elizabeth Hewitt 2-1/3; LR Tompkins 2-0/2, Brittany Parkhill 0-2/2, Angela Danley 0-2/2 Assists: C - Meredith Jones 25, Lettie Wilkes 14, Nicole Scheidt 13; LR - Carolyn Prescott 32 Aces: C - Bonner 4, Harrison, Hewitt, Katie Moore; LR - Ledford. ATT: 212 Time - 1:23 #######

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