Volleyball Takes Five-Set Win at Tusculum


GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Catawba snapped a three-matching losing streak with a five-set win over host Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Pioneer Arena.  The Catawba Indians won the match by the scores of 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12 in improving to 12-12 overall and 9-8 in the SAC.  The Pioneers fall to 11-12 and 8-9.

Catawba scored three of the final four points to win the fifth set and take the match.  Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael HS) had back-to-back kills to put the Lady Indians up 14-11.  After a service error, Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance HS) killed off the final point in an important league match.

Early in the final set, Rachel Gallup (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland HS) had consecutive kills that was followed by another from Howard to push Catawba to a 6-2 lead.  Kills from Laryssa Welch and Sarah Bouley pulled TC within 6-5.  The teams alternated points until a block by Allison Benton (High Springs, Fla./St. Francis HS) and a TC error put Catawba up 12-9.  Kills from Garnett and Bouley got the Pioneers within 12-11 before Hopper's two kills turned the tide.

Hopper and Erin Morant (Bealeton, Va./Liberty HS) led Catawba with 13 kills.  Howard added 11 kills and seven blocks, two solo.  McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden HS) collected 24 kills and four blocks, while Rachel Stanford (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee HS), subbing for an injured Kaytee Frabotta (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II HS), handed out 42 assists.

Tusculum used a 5-0 run to get some distance in the opening set.  Tied at 9-all, a Catawba ball handling error was followed by two aces from Sabrina Schleuger.  Schleuger added a kill and another ace to close the run that put the Pioneers up 14-9.  The Lady Indians closed within 15-12 on a combo block from Howard and Hopper, but TC did not let the gap get any closer.

Hopper got Catawba off to a quick start in set two with three kills.  After a block and kill from Morant, the Lady Indians were up 9-5.  Howard and Hopper each had a kill and combined for a block to push the edge to 15-8 and when Stanford followed with a kill it was 16-8.  The Pioneers made a late run and cut the margin to 23-20 before kills from Morant and Stanford ended the set.

Catawba scored the first three points of set three then went on a 10-2 run to go on top 14-7.  Tusculum trimmed the margin to 17-15, but a block from Howard and a kill from Garrison pushed the Lady Indians ahead 19-15.  Leading 20-18, Catawba got a kill from Gallup and an ace from Evan Schultz (Richmond, Va./Monacan HS) to take a 22-18 edge.  Kills from Morant and Garrison offset points from TC before Morant ended the set on a kill.

Tusculum jumped out to a 7-1 lead to open the fourth.  Danae Stauffer had three kills and Rachel Garnett two in the run.  The Lady Indians rallied within 16-13, but TC ran off four points on three kills from Bouley to lead 20-13.  After Catawba closed the gap to 23-20, Schleuger killed off the final two points to force the deciding fifth set.

Tusculum was led by Schleuger's 15 kills and five aces.  Garnett added a dozen kills with two blocks.  Hannah Berling handed out 54 assists with 15 digs, while libero Melissa Mazur recorded 33 digs.

Catawba hit at 21% for the match and totaled 14 blocks.  Morant added five blocks to her kill total.  Schultz served a pair of aces and picked up 11 digs.
Catawba finishes off the weekend road trip with a match on Saturday at pm at Mars Hill.

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