Volleyball Pushes Past Mars Hill In Five


MARS HILL, N.C. -- Catawba took a five-set win over host Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Stanford Arena.  The Catawba Indians improve to 11-10 overall and 9-7 in the SAC with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 21-25 and 15-9 victory.  The Lions fall to 6-17 and 5-11.

In the deciding set, Catawba turned around an early 4-3 deficit with a nine-point run that gave the Lady Indians control.  A combo block by Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael) and Kimberly Hurtado (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley) tied the set and Allison Benton’s (High Springs, Fla./St. Francis) ace put Catawba on top for good.

Hurtado had another block and Benton a second ace to push the lead to 8-4.  A kill from Hurtado made it 10-4 and her block with Rachel Stanford (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) capped the run for a 12-4 edge.  A couple kills from Lauren Hochstetler helped bring the Lions within five before Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance) killed off the final point.

Howard and Hopper each posted 11 kills for Catawba.  Hopper collected four blocks, while Howard had three and served an ace.  McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden) totaled 10 kills with 26 digs.  Hurtado recorded eight blocks, Meredith Furr (Concord, N.C./Cox Mill) 44 digs and Stanford 48 assists and 17 digs.

Mars Hill got 16 kills from Mary Kate Griffin and another 15 from Rebecca Butler.  Hochstetler had four blocks, 23 digs, nine kills and three aces.  Sara Fahrenbrook handed out 54 assists and libero Victoria Kaiser registered 38 digs.

The Lions trailed early in set one before two kills by Butler and two aces from Hochstetler had Mars Hill up 8-7.  The set stayed tight until Garrison started a 3-0 run to give Catawba a 19-16 edge.  Up 23-21, a kill from Hopper and a combo block from Hurtado and Stanford gave the Lady Indians the set.

Mars Hill moved ahead late in set two.  Up 17-15, two kills from Sally Ann Johnson gave the Lions a 20-15 lead.  Catawba closed within 22-21, but a kill and block from Maddie Spurgeon gave Mars Hill a set point.  A service error would give the set to the Lions.

Catawba rallied from a 12-9 deficit to take set three.  Two kills from Garrison helped tie the set at 13-all and another put the Lady Indians up 15-14.  The set was tied at 21-all when two Mars Hill errors and a Howard kill gave Catawba a set point.  The Lions staved off two of the points before a kill from Howard ended the set.

Mars Hill never trailed in set four, going up 10-6 on a kill from Fahrenbrook.  A kill from Spurgeon pushed the margin to 15-9 and an ace from Elizabeth Kaeser upped the lead to 20-13.  Catawba closed within three before Griffin final ended the set to force the fifth.

Catawba will be at home to Tusculum on Saturday at 5 pm.

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