The volleyball match between Presbyterian College and Winthrop came down to the wire with the Blue Hose escaping with the 3-2 win Friday night at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C.. PC took the five-set win by scores of 25-21, 16-25, 28-26, 22-25, and 15-11.
The Blue Hose, which improve to 7-8 overall and 2-1 in the Big South, return to Clinton for a four-match homestand, beginning with Gardner-Webb Friday, Oct. 10, and UNC Asheville, Saturday, Oct. 11. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. Winthrop, which drops 12-7, 2-1, hosts UNC Asheville Friday at 7 p.m., and Gardner-Webb Saturday at 2 p.m.
Hall led the Blue Hose with 18 kills, followed by 12 from Rachel Elshoff and 10 from Kelly Berryman. Berryman paced the team in blocks as well with two solo blocks and five block assists. Mary Trimpe posted 25 digs, while Ashtin Frank came away with 37 assists. The Blue Hose recorded 53 kills for a .090 hitting percentage. PC posted 11.0 team blocks and three service aces.
Rachel Lenz paced Winthrop with 18 kills, with Alina Sopizhuk behind with 12 and Brianna Gray with 11. The Eagles recorded 57 kills and had a .124 hitting percentage.
Presbyterian College and Winthrop fought a back and forth battle in the first set with neither team able to get a strong foothold, as the largest lead by either team was no more than two at a time. Tied 19-19, Winthrop used a kill by Sopizhuk, her second straight, and a PC attack error, to take a 21-19 lead.
The Blue Hose stormed back with six unanswered, highlighted by kills from Hall and Berryman and three straight blocks to take the come-from-behind 25-21 first set win.
The Eagles started the second set on fire, collecting six kills en route to a 12-4 lead. A kill by Frank and back to back blocks by Berryman cut the Winthrop lead to five, 12-7, before a Kelly Scott kill extended the lead back to six.
PC used a 3-0 run to cut the lead to two, 14-22, before Winthrop took the next seven of nine points to build a 21-14 lead. PC capitalized on a bad set to make it 21-15, but Winthrop won the next three to reach set point at 24-15. A Blue Hose attack error ended the third set with the Eagles taking the 25-16 win.
Winthrop built an early 6-3 lead in the third set, but PC fought back to tie it at 11-11, helped in part to a Berryman kill and an Eagle attack error. A 6-3 run made it 16-13 in favor of Winthrop before a Hall kill, her 10th of the night, cut the lead to three, 16-14.
PC rallied with five unanswered, helped in part by an Elshoff kill and Ashton Stewart block, to take a 19-17 lead. It was Winthrop’s time to rally next as the Eagles strung together four straight to retake the lead, 21-19. PC erased a two-point Winthrop lead with a Hall kill and Eagle attack error to tie the set at 23-23, and after a Blue Hose service error knotted it up again at 24-24.
The Blue Hose capitalized on another Winthrop attack error to give them set point, 25-24. Winthrop came back to tie it at 25-25, as both teams went back and forth, resulting in yet another tie at 26-26. Back to back kills by Robbins and Elshoff ended the deadlock and give PC the 28-26 third set win.
PC ran out to a 7-2 lead to open the fourth set, capitalizing on four straight kills by the Blue Hose. The visitors extended the lead to 13-7 before Winthrop called its first timeout of the set. The Blue Hose held a multiple point lead down the stretch, the Eagles cutting the margin to three a couple of times, including at 19-16 off a Brianna Gray kill.
A block by Raveen Golston helped Winthrop make it a one point set, 19-20, forcing a PC timeout. Tied again at 21-21, Winthrop recorded two unanswered to move up to 23-21. PC cut it to 23-22, but Winthrop scored the next two to take the 25-22 fourth set win, forcing a fifth set.
The fifth set was back and forth and saw five ties, the last at 10-10. PC took over, posting the final five of six points, including kills by Berryman and Johna Robbins to take the 15-11 fifth set and match win.