USC Aiken defeats Volleyball in five sets
By Cody Parker Asst. Sports Editor
Septemeber 26, 2013
|Photo courtesy of UNCP Sports Information
Marissa Baker prepares to spike the ball in the Lady Braves victory over Pfeiffer.
The Lady Braves volleyball team lost in five sets on the road to conference opponent USC Aiken on Sept. 21.
This marks UNCP’s third consecutive conference loss, and their fourth straight loss in contests with the Pacers.
The Black and Gold took the early match lead by winning the first set. Midway through the set Morgan Westphal and Sabrina Gonzalez had three point streaks to push UNCP’s lead out to nine, with the score at 23-14.
The Lady Braves got the set point on an error from USC Aiken, which closed the first set as a 25-18 win for UNCP.
The Pacers came back with a win in the second set to tie the match up.
Aly Johnson helped USC Aiken get out to an early 4-0 lead with three straight kills.
The Black and Gold fought back to within two, but Hannah Tierney led the Pacers on a run that gave them a 15-8 lead.
The Pacers were able to control the rest of the set for a 25-16 win in the set.
USC Aiken took the third set to put themselves up two games to one in the match.
Consecutive kills from Leah Rodgers gave the Pacers an 18-10 lead, and despite a run by UNCP led to USC Aiken getting the set win 25-20.
The Pacers had a match high 14 team kills in the set.
UNCP was able to dig deep and force a fifth set by getting the victory in the fourth set. The Lady Braves grabbed a solid lead around half way through the set when they scored four straight points to take an 11-6 lead.
Later in the set Sarah Bower and Gonzalez had consecutive kills to close the set out. The Black and Gold took the set by a score of 25-20.
USC Aiken capitalized on early errors from UNCP to take the final set victory.
Four straight errors allowed the Pacers to pull out to an 8-2 lead.
The Lady Braves managed to make it close again as they fought back to a score of 9-6, but USC Aiken went on a six to one run to close out the set and match.
Shekinah-Joy Toloumu had her fourth consecutive double-double as she had 41 assists and 16 digs for the Black and Gold. Danielle Brown led the Lady Braves with 37 digs and with the performance leads the conference in digs with 211.
Bower and Cecilia Brandon sent home the most kills for UNCP with 11 and 10 respectively.
Taylor Stratton had a match high 19 kills in the win for USC Aiken.
In their next time out on Sept. 25, the Lady Braves will play at Francis Marion in a conference clash. Francis Marion is 3-0 in conference play thus far which puts them in first place at this point in the season.
After Francis Marion, the Lady Braves play Georgia College and GRU Augusta who are eighth and 10th in the conference respectively.
Along with playing GRU Augusta on Oct. 5, the Black and Gold will also be playing Fayetteville State as part of the #BraveNation Celebration.
The GRU Augusta game starts at 12, and the Fayettville State match begins at 4 p.m.
Freshman Caroline Pridgen is sixth in the Peach Belt Conference with 119 kills.
Sabrina Gonzalez, another freshman, is fifth in the conference with 173 kills on the season.