Volleyball

Volleyball Drops SAC Opener to Tusculum

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SALISBURY, NC -- Tusculum overcame an early set deficit to top host Catawba in four sets in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Goodman Gym.  The Pioneers improve to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 2-5 and 0-1.

After dropping the opening set, Tusculum trailed set two 19-17 before rallying.  The Pioneers scored four straight points, three on Catawba error to go up 21-19.  Danae Stauffer (Orrville, OH) killed off the final two points of the set for the Pioneers. 

The teams went back and fourth through 13 ties in the third set before Tusculum again took control late.  Tied at 17-all, the Pioneers got a kill from Alyssa Raterman (Urbana, OH) and an error on Catawba to lead 19-17.  Catawba closed within 21-20 after a kill by Rachel Gallup (Fredericksburg, VA/Courtland HS), but Tusculum responded with a kill from Kassie Voelker (Morristown, TN) and two more from Megan Hasse (Kingston Springs, TN) to go up 24-20.  The duo combined for a block to end the set.

Catawba scored the first six points of the fourth set, including an ace by Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS), but Tusculum fought back and went in front during a seven-point run to lead 17-13.  Hasse had three kills in the run.  The Lady Indian never got closer than three points the rest of the way.

Voelker led Tusculum with 14 kills and added three blocks.  Hasse posted 13 kills and 15 digs.  Setter Ashley Sarmiento (Dayton, OH) handed out 53 assists and had 16 digs, while libero Caitlyn Dean (Fort Wayne, IN) registered 35 digs.

Catawba was led by Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) with 16 kills, 11 digs and three blocks.  Allie Parrish (Zebulon, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) posted 15 kills with three blocks.  Raye dished out 35 assists and had 17 digs, while libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Henry HS) collected 39 digs.

The Lady Indians closed out the first set on kills from Raye and Whitmer then used two more kills from Whitmer to build a 16-13 edge in the second set.  Catawba will jump back into action on Saturday as it hosts Mars Hill at 2 p.m.

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