Volleyball Gets First SAC Win Behind Whitmer's 18 Kills


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba claimed a four-set win over visiting Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Lady Indians won by the scores of 25-22, 20-25, 25-11 and 25-9 to improve to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the SAC.  The Lions fall to 6-5 and 0-2.

Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) led Catawba with 18 kills and added 15 digs and four blocks.  Setter Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) nearly posted a triple-double with 46 assists, 10 digs and nine kills.  Freshman Abby Pennington (Blacksburg, VA/Blacksburg HS) added 13 kills with libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Henry HS) recording 29 digs.  Alli Parrish (Zebulon, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) delivered 11 kills, 12 digs and three blocks.

Toni Cole led Mars Hill with 13 kills, while Regan Macomson added 11 kills.  Marissa Wixson had 10 kills and 15 digs, while libero Maggie Murphy collected 25 digs.

Catawba never trailed in the opening set, but after taking an early 11-5 lead the Lady Indians saw Mars Hill tie the set at 12-all on a kill by Hillary Gambrell.  A kill and ace by Whitmer helped Catawba regain the lead at 18-13 then Mars Hill fought back to close within 21-20 on a kill by Cole.  Whitmer posted consecutive kills and Pennington later killed off the set.

Cole capped an early five-point run for Mars Hill in set two with an ace for a 5-1 lead.  The Lions controlled the set going up 19-13 on a kill from Macomson.  Whitmer got Catawba to within 21-19, but Cole had consecutive kills then put down set point.

It was all Catawba after the second set.  Whitmer had three kills in an opening surge that put Catawba up 8-2.  Whitmer and Ashley Brown (Hendersonville, NC/N. Henderson HS) each had a kill and combined on a block to stretch the lead to 20-8.  Pennington killed off the set.  The Lady Indians jumped out 13-3 in the fourth and the match was all but decided.  A kill by Parrish made it 19-4 and Whitmer and Brown combined for another block to end the match.

The Lady Indians are back in action with another league contest on Tuesday when they host Lenoir-Rhyne at 7 p.m.


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