Volleyball Gets First Win, Splits Saturday Matches at Queens Inv.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Catawba rebounded from a pair of defeats on Friday at the Queens University Fall Invitational to split two matches on Saturday at the Levine Center.  The Catawba Indians opened with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-23 and 25-15 win over Augusta before falling to Francis Marion 28-30, 25-16, 25-17 and 25-23.  The split left Catawba at 1-3 on the year, while Augusta went to 1-1 and FMU 2-2.

Catawba hit at 19 percent for the match against Augusta.  McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden) led the team with 16 kills and 13 digs.  Audrey Hoffman (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek) added 13 kills and four blocks. Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance) tallied six kills while collecting nine blocks over the four sets. Setter Rachel Stanford (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) handed out 38 assists and Libero Meredith Furr (Concord, N.C./Cox Mill) recorded 23 digs.
Augusta University hit 17 percent in the loss. The Lady Jaguars were led by Blair Bolton’s 14 kills. Savanna Gonzales added 12 kills for Augusta. The Jaguars’ defense was led by Cat DeSilvester’s 20 digs.

Catawba fought their way back from an early five point deficit in the first set to tie the game at 9-all. Augusta took the lead again, but Catawba continued to fight and took the lead after a 13-all tie was broken by a Hoffman kill.  Garrison led the Lady Indians in the first set with five kills.  Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael), Kimberly Hurtado (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley), and Hoffman each added two kills with Hoffman collecting three blocks.
Augusta took the second set of the match 25-23. Hoffman led Catawba’s attack with five kills. Garrison tallied three kills and seven digs. Furr contributed six digs and an ace.
Catawba took an early lead in the third set that they would maintain until an Augusta kill tied it at 14-all.  After this tie was broken by a Catawba attack error, there were two lead changes before Catawba regained the lead for the final time at 19-18 following a kill by Garrison.  She led the Lady Indians with four kills and two blocks. Howard tallied three blocks and a kill.
The Jaguars jumped out 4-1 early in the fourth set, but Catawba stormed back and won the set 25-15. Hoffman and Garrison led the Lady Indians’ in the final set with four kills each. Howard added two kills and three blocks. 

Catawba won the opening set against Francis Marion before dropping the final three.  Catawba hit just 10 percent with Hopper leading the team with 17 kills. Garrison added nine kills and nine digs. Furr dug up 22 balls.

Francis Marion hit 22 percent in winning the match. The Patriots were led by Caroline Boone’s 20 kills. Georgia Garrison contributed 17 kills and three blocks.  Carlie Smith added 13 kills and 16 digs for Francis Marion.

FMU jumped out 3-0 in the opening set and led 9-5 before Catawba ran off seven straight points.  Hopper had a pair of kills in the run off the serve of McKenzie Garrison.  A kill by Hopper extended the Lady Indian lead to 17-12, but FMU rallied and tied the set at 24 as they fought off three set points. 

The Patriots avoided another set point then saw Catawba fight off two, one a kill from Stanford.  The Lady Indians were denied a fifth set point on a Georgia Garrison kill before finally cashing in with a combo block from Hoffman and Allie Grubb (Trinity, N.C./Wheatmore) that ended the set.  Hopper had eight of her kills in the opening set.

FMU raced out to a 7-0 lead in set two, getting three straight aces at one point from Shelbi Meek.  Down 9-1, Catawba managed to get as close as 19-15, but FMU surged again, winning six of the last seven points.  Hoffman produced four kills in the set for Catawba.

It was a 13-5 run midway into set three that made the difference in giving FMU a 2-1 edge.  The Patriots moved from a 7-7 tie to a 20-12 lead in the run.  Georgia Garrison had three kills and an ace in the push.  Grubb had three blocks in the set.

Set four was tight throughout.  FMU built a 12-8 edge before Catawba rallied back to even the set at 17 on an ace from Stanford.  Georgia Garrison put down three kills to help the Patriots to a 21-18 edge.  A couple FMU errors and a kill from Hopper pulled the Lady Indians even at 23, but Smith and Boone killed off the match's final two points. Hopper led Catawba with five kills in the set.

Catawba returns to action on Tuesday as the Lady Indians open South Atlantic Conference play at Lenoir-Rhyne at 7 p.m.

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Francis Marion Box

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