Volleyball Bows Out in Opening Round of SAC Tournament


NEWBERRY, S.C. -- Catawba fell in three sets to host Newberry in the opening round of the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday night at Eleazer Arena.  The Wolves won the match 27-25, 25-15 and 25-22 to improve to 20-11, advancing to the semifinals.  Catawba ends its season at 16-13.

Catawba was led by Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael) with nine kills and Audrey Hoffman (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek), who had eight kills and three blocks.  McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden) and Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance) both had five kills with Garrison adding 16 digs.

Newberry outlasted Catawba to take a tight opening set.  The teams stayed within two points until a 3-0 run by the Wolves pushed the margin to 21-18.  Toni-Anne Whitlow had a kill and Mary Siebert served an ace.  Catawba came right back and used a 5-1 run to take a 23-22 lead.  Hoffman had an early block in the run and her kill gave the Lady Indians the one-point lead.

Alexis Bryant tied the set with a kill for Newberry, who went ahead on an ace from Natalie Willis.  Hoffman staved off two set points with kills, but Madison Darby-McClure answered with two kills of her own to keep Newberry up.  An attack error would give Newberry the set.

A 5-0 run early in set two that included a pair of aces from Logan Hayward had Newberry on top 9-4.  The lead grew to 19-11 after a kill from Darby-McClure.  Bryant killed off the set point to put the Wolves up 2-0 in the match.

Newberry led 13-8 in the third set before Catawba rallied.  Howard and Hopper each had back-to-back kills in a 6-0 run that gave Catawba the lead.  A block by Kimberly Hurtado (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley) had the Lady Indians up 20-18, but after an attack error Whitlow had consecutive kills for a 21-20 Newberry lead.

A kill by Hurtado and an attack error from the Wolves gave Catawba a 22-21 edge, but that would be the last points for the visitors.  Following a service error, Bryant’s kill put Newberry up 23-22.  A block from Hayward and Sidra Triplett gave the Wolves a match point and a kill from Maggie Marsh ended the match.

Hayward led Newberry with 11 kills, 11 digs and three aces.  Darby-McClure added nine kills with two aces.  Bryant collected eight kills, while Marsh handed out 35 assists with 11 digs.

Box Score

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Volleyball Team Photo