Volleyball Sweeps League-Leading LMU


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba knocked off South Atlantic Conference volleyball league-leader Lincoln Memorial, sweeping the visiting Railsplitters on Friday night at Goodman Gym.  The Catawba Indians notched their fifth win in a row, taking the match 26-24, 25-22 and 25-23 to improve to 14-10 overall and 12-7 in the SAC.  The Railsplitters fall to 22-5 and 16-3.

Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael) produced 15 kills to pace Catawba, while Audrey Hoffman (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek) collected 12 kills and three blocks.  McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden) followed with 10 kills and added a pair of blocks, an ace and nine digs.  Setter Rachel Stanford (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) handed out 4- assists and libero Meredith Furr (Concord, N.C./Cox Mill) posted 21 digs and served an ace.

Samantha Cash led LMU with a dozen kills and recorded a pair of blocks.  Liz Brock, Jamie Jehne and Kiera Holland all had eight kills.  Abby Cash posted 43 assists, while Erica Whiteaker dug up 19 balls and served an ace.

Catawba pulled away midway through the first set and led 21-15 after a kill by Stanford.  LMU battled back and would tie the set at 23-all on a kill from Holland.  Another kill from Holland gave the Railsplitters a 24-23 edge, but Catawba held off the set point on a LMU attack error.  The Lady Indians won the set with consecutive blocks.  Hoffman and Kimberly Hurtado (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley) put Catawba up 25-24 and Hurtado and Garrison blocked down the set point.

LMU took a lead early in set two as a kill from Jehne had the guests up 6-3.  A kill from Holland put the Railsplitters up 15-12, but Catawba reeled off four straight points to go on top.  Hopper had two kills then Hoffman posted a block and a kill.  The Lady Indians led 20-17 after a kill from Garrison and 24-21 following a kill from Hurtado.  Lindsey Nartker cut the lead to 24-22 then Garrison killed a point to end the set.

Set three saw 10 ties and three lead changes as the team both hit over 30% in the set.  Samantha Cash had eight kills in the set for LMU, including four in the first five LMU points.  A block and kill from Nartker put the Railsplitters up 9-6.  Catawba took the lead on a 4-0 run at 15-13 that saw kills from Hoffman and Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance) and an ace from Allison Benton (High Springs, Fla./St. Francis). 

A kill from Benton had Catawba up 18-15 before three straight kills from Holland tied the set.  The teams traded kills over the next eight points to leave the set tied at 22.  Catawba got two each from Hopper and Garrison, while LMU had one from Tone Gill, two from Samantha Cash and one from Jehne.

Hoffman killed a point to put Catawba up 23-22 and Garrison followed with a kill to give Catawba a 24-22 and the first two-point edge since the Lady Indians had led 18-16.  Brock killed a point for LMU to stave off the first match point, but Hoffman followed with her sixth kill of the set to end the match.

Catawba will cap its regular-season home schedule on Saturday, hosting Carson-Newman for Senior Day at 5 pm.

Box Score

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Volleyball Team Photo