Volleyball Can't Sustain Good Start, Drop League Opener at LR


HICKORY, NC -- Catawba could not capitalize on a good start and dropped a four-set decision to host Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Shuford Gym.  The Bears won by the scores of 22-25, 25-20, 25-15 and 25-10 to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians fall to 0-3 and 0-1.

Rachel Gallup (Fredericksburg, VA/Courtland HS) led Catawba with 11 kills with Erin Morant (Bealeton, VA/Liberty HS) and Haley Lanier (Burgaw, NC/Pender Co. HS) each posting nine kills.  Morant, along with setter Kaytee Frabotta (Sterling Heights, MI/Henry Ford II HS), recorded three blocks with libero McKenzie Garrison (Newton, NC/Maiden HS) serving up four aces.  Frabotta handed out 37 assists and Taylor Houser (Mt. Holly, NC/S. Point HS/Pfeiffer) dug up 11 balls.

Down 3-1 in the opening set, Garrison served up a pair of aces and Gallup recorded a pair of kills in a 5-0 run that put the Lady Indians up 6-3.  Ashley Wells had a pair of aces to get L-R even at 8-8 and the set stayed tied at 12-12.  Bri Howard (Graham, NC/S. Alamance HS) had a kill and Garrison another ace to move Catawba up 15-12.

Catawba moved out to a 19-15 edge, but LR rallied back with two kills from Haley Rhyne and an ace from Kayla Morrow to pull within 20-19.  The teams would trade points until Morant and Gallup collected consecutive kills to give Catawba the opening set 25-22.

The Lady Indians kept set two close, trailing 12-9 after a kill from Lanier, but the Bears started pulling away from there.  Consecutive kills from Wells made the score 16-9 and after a kill from Briana Gottberg the margin was 19-11.  Catawba made a brief run, closing to 19-15 after two kills from Morant and an ace from Caitlin Turner (Chesapeake, VA/Hickory HS).  That would be as close as the Lady Indians would get as the Bears put the set away on a kill from Wells.

Wells had three kills early in set three to get Lenoir-Rhyne out to a 6-1 lead.  Morant and Frabotta combined on a block to make it 8-5, but the Bears got two aces from Wells to stretch the lead to 12-5.  An ace from Morrow and two kills from Rhyne helped build the margin to 19-6 and the Bears took the set on a service error.

It was more of the same in set four as Wells posted two kills to send the Bears to a 4-0 edge.  It was 8-5 when Lenoir-Rhyne started to put the match away.  The Bears scored 12 straight points, three coming on kills from Rhyne, to go up 20-5.  Another Catawba service error ended the match.

Rhyne posted 17 kills to lead the Bears.  Wells followed with 14 kills and served four aces.  Gottberg handed out 47 assists in the win.  L-R hit 32% in the victory, including 48% in the final set.  Catawba started well, hitting 39% in the opening set, but fell off to 17% for the match.  Catawba hit just 3% in the final two sets combined.

Catawba jumps back into league action on Saturday as the Lady Indians travel to Brevard for a match that begins at 2 p.m.

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