Volleyball Rallies Back To Knock Off Mars Hill


SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Catawba Indians were able to grind out a four-set win over visiting Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Goodman Gym.  Catawba spotted the Lions the opening set before rallying back for the 22-25, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-23 victory to improve to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the SAC.  Mars Hill falls to 1-8 and 0-6.

Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael) and Audrey Hoffman (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek) each put down 13 kills to pace the Lady Indians.  Allie Grubb (Trinity, N.C./Wheatmore) recorded five blocks with Kimberly Hurtado (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley) posting four blocks.  Libero Meredith Furr (Concord, N.C./Cox Mill) dug up 20 balls and served a pair of aces. 

In the final set, Catawba turned a 9-6 deficit into a 17-10 lead with a surge mainly behind Furr’s serving.  Allison Benton (High Springs, Fla./St. Francis) had served an ace in 3-0 run that tied the set at nine.  After a Hopper kill tied the set at 10-all, Furr served up the next seven points which included her two aces.

Mars Hill crept within 18-14 on a kill from Rebecca Butler only to see Catawba stretch the lead to 23-16 following a Hoffman kill.  The Lions made one last run behind the serve of Lauren Hochstetler.  After her kill made it 23-17, she helped pull the Lions to within 23-22.  Hochstetler served one ace and Sally Anne Johnson provided two kills.

The key point came after a long rally that could have tied the set.  Hurtado and Alexa Marcy (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) stuffed an attack from Brooks Green that put Catawba at match point.  Mars Hill staved off one match point on a combo block from Green and Johnson, but Hopper was able to kill of the next point to give Catawba the win.

The opening set saw 11 ties and four lead changes.  With the set tied at 18, a pair of Catawba errors and a kill from Hochstetler gave the Lions a 21-18 edge.  The Lady Indians closed within 21-20 before two more Hochstetler kills and a Catawba error made it 24-20.  Hochstetler finished the set off with her seventh kill.

Mars Hill took a 4-1 lead to open the second set and led most of the way.  The Lions led late at 21-17 before Catawba fought back.  Five straight Catawba points were capped by a combo block by Grubb and Benton for a 22-21 edge.  The Lady Indians went up 24-22 after a kill from Hurtado and a Lion hitting error.  Mary Kate Griffin cut the lead to 24-23 with a kill before Hopper wrapped up the set with her own kill.

The third was another tight set that saw 10 ties and six lead changes.  Mars Hill saw Catawba get out to a 3-0 lead, but rebounded to lead 5-4 edge after an ace from Green.  The Lady Indians recovered their three-point margin at 13-10 then saw Mars Hill retake momentum and a 14-13 lead after a Hochstetler ace.

Hoffman pulled Catawba even at 17-all with a kill and it was 18-all after the teams traded errors.  An error gave Catawba a lead, but a block from Butler and Maddie Spurgeon tied the set for the last time.  A kill from Hoffman and a Lion ball handling error pushed the Lady Indian lead to 21-19.  Spurgeon’s kill cut it 21-20 before Catawba ran off the final four points, two on aces from Emilee Hawks (Mebane, N.C./E. Alamance).

Hochstetler led Mars Hill with a dozen kills, 16 digs, two blocks and five aces.  Butler added 11 kills and three blocks.  Johnson collected four blocks and five kills with Green serving four aces to go along with six kills.  Libero Victoria Kaiser had 17 digs.

Catawba travels to Tusculum on Saturday for a 2 p.m. match.

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