USC Upstate rallied back from a 2-0 deficit, winning three sets in a row, to take the 3-2 win over the Presbyterian College volleyball team in non-conference action Wednesday evening in Clinton, S.C. PC took the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-21, with the Spartans taking the final three in tight sets, 29-27, 25-19, and 15-13. Erin Eulitz recorded a career-high 23 kills in the loss.
Scoring the Match
Neither team could get a foothold in set one, the largest rally coming from PC, 5-1, that erased a USC Upstate 13-12 lead and turning into a 17-14 lead for PC. It was short-lived as the Spartans quickly tied the set again at 18-18. The final tie of a set that saw 13 came at 20-20 after the Spartans rallied back from a two-point deficit. PC reached set point off an Erin Eulitz kill, 24-22 before a Madison Haake kill put the margin back at one. Eulitz, with her seventh kill of the set, stopped the USC Upstate run and gave the home team the 25-23 first set win.
Knotted at 11-11 in the second set, PC outscored the Spartans, 6-2, to jump out to a 17-13 lead. USC Upstate cut the lead to one at 17-18, and against at 19-20, but it was PC with three straight, capped by a Caroline Henderson kill, to build a 23-19 lead. PC and USC Upstate traded points thereafter but it was the home team that came out on top 25-21, off an Allie Wright kill, to take the 2-0 lead.
The Blue Hose jumped out to an 11-4 lead, helped in part to two Eulitz kills. PC extended its lead to 13-6, but the Spartans began to claw back, using a 7-1 run to cut the margin to just one, 13-14. Back to back kills from Henderson put PC up 16-13, but it was USC Upstate coming back again with a 5-2 run to tie the set at 18-18. Two quick Eulitz kills, and an Ashton Stewart kill, shot the Blue Hose up by three, 21-18. Three straight by the Spartans tied it again at 21-21, however. Tied against at 22-22, PC reached match point, 24-22 off a Eulitz kill and block assists from Stewart and Martina Shamley. Two kills from Haake knotted the set at 24-24, with Gloria Ikenegbu giving Upstate set point, 25-24. Tied again at 27-27, Upstate reached set point off a Payton Duncan kill. The Spartans forced a set four off a PC attack error, taking it 29-27.
A reverse of set three, USC Upstate opened up with an 11-3 lead. Down 18-9, PC fought back to five with a 5-1 run, but four straight by Upstate, made it 23-14. PC came back with a 5-1 run to make it 19-24. That would be it as a Lily Dempsey kill sealed the 25-19 fifth set win for USC Upstate, forcing a fifth set.
The Spartans rallied back from an early 3-1 deficit in the fifth set, tying it at 4-4 off a Duncan kill. A kill by Eulitz put PC up 5-4 but it was Upstate with the next seven of eight points to extend the lead to 11-6. Four Henderson kills helped PC on a 5-2 run to cut the Upstate lead to two, 11-13. Dempsey gave the Spartans match point at 14-11, but a Eulitz kill and Upstate attack error made it 13-14. Dempsey’s kill ended the PC comeback and gave Upstate the 15-13 fifth set win and the match.
Player of the Match
Leading the offense for PC was Erin Eulitz with a career-high 23 kills, followed by Caroline Henderson and her career-best 16 kills. Allie Wright added 14. Daley Gosnell finished with 23 digs, with Jaclyn Brewington adding 36 assists. Lily Dempsey led USC Upstate with 18 kills.
Stat of the Match
USC Upstate led in kills, 76-63, and had seven fewer errors, 23-30. The Spartans held the edge in attack percentage, .234-.199, with PC posting more service aces, 5-3.
The match marked the first time since the 3-1 NC A&T win Sept. 2, that the Blue Hose have opened with a 2-0 lead.
The career-high 71 attacks by Erin Eulitz was a PC Division I record, her career-high 23 kills tying for fifth in the record book.
The team’s 201 attack attempts is sixth in the PC record book.
Caroline Henderson posted a career-high 16 kills and tied her career-best with 44 attacks. Her .295 attack percentage was a best as well.
Megan Jones finished with a career-high 17 digs.
For the Record
PC drops to 5-18 overall, while USC USC Upstate improves to 6-15.
The Blue Hose round out their three-match home stand with Campbell coming to town Saturday, Oct .21, for a 1 p.m., match.
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