The Presbyterian College volleyball team used 14 kills by Rachel Hall and six block assists by Ashton Stewart to lead the Blue Hose to the 3-0 win over USC Upstate in action Tuesday at Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C. In three close sets, PC took the sets by scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-18
The Blue Hose, who improved to 5-7 overall, begin conference play Friday with a road contest at Charleston Southern Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. PC travels a short distance to Conway, S.C., to take on Coastal Carolina Saturday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m. USC Upstate drops to 9-6 on the year and hosts Kennesaw State Sept. 27, at 3 p.m., in its league opener as well.
PC ended the night with 39 kills, compared to 29 for the Spartans. The Blue Hose recorded 64 digs, 19 of them coming from Mary Trimpe. PC posted a .105 hitting percentage, with USC Upstate at .049.
Hall led the Blue Hose with 14 kills, followed by Ashton Stewart with six, and Johna Robbins and Kelly Berryman with five apiece. Ashtin Frank came away with 34 assists. Stewart recorded a team-leading seven total blocks, with Berryman close behind with six. As a team PC had 14.0 blocks.
Kayla Eversgerd paced USC Upstate with eight kills, with Javon Gates and Emily Koelling with seven each. Eversgerd led the team in digs with 14 with Lexi Gober posting a team-leading 22 assists.
PC opened set one on fire, building a 10-3 lead, highlighted by kills from Hall, Stewart, Robbins and Frank. The Spartans capitalized on three straight Blue Hose attack errors to fight back to within three, 10-7, before Rachel Elshoff’s kill made it a four-point set, 11-7.
The set stayed within four and five the next several points with a Gober ace making it a three-point game at one point, 13-16. The Spartans used a 5-1 run, helped by two kills from Koelling, to cut the margin to one, 16-17, forcing a PC timeout.
USC Upstate tied the set at 17-17 off a Dominique Arnold kill, before Stewart responded with a kill to give PC the lead back at one. A back and forth battle ensued as PC and USC ended up knotted at 22-22. Hall and Berryman gave PC the 23-22 lead off a block assists before Stewart and Robbins added another to give the Blue Hose set point. Hall ended the exciting first set with a kill as PC took the 25-22 win.
Another strong start to the second set for PC, the Blue Hose jumped out to an 8-3 lead, helped in part to three Hall kills. USC Upstate rattled off four of the next five points to cut the margin to two, 7-9. PC recorded the next three in a row to build a five-point lead, 12-7. The Spartans would not back away and rolled to the 13-13 tie with a 6-1 run.
Tied at 14-14, PC used a Spartan attack error and a kill by Hall retake the lead, 16-14, before the Spartans rallied behind Blue Hose attack errors to take the 18-17 lead. Robbins posted her third kill of the night while Hall and Stewart added blocks to give PC the lead back at 21-18.
A Stewart kill and a block assist from Stewart and Robbins gave PC set point at 24-21, before the Spartans fought back to a one-point set, 23-24. Frank quelled the rally with a kill to give the Blue Hose the 25-23 second set win.
Tied 3-3 early in the third set, PC used a 6-1 run, off a kill by Hall and a kill and block by Robbins, to take a 9-4 lead. The Blue Hose opened up a 13-6 lead, but back to back kills by Gates and a PC attack error made it four-point game, 9-13.
PC extended its lead back to seven, 18-11, before the Spartans cut the lead to one, 17-18, capitalizing on five straight Blue Hose attack errors. An Arnold kill tied the set at 18-18, until PC regained the lead off a Hall kill. Halle Tripp added her second kill of the night to make it 20-18, before a block by Frank and Stewart increased the Blue Hose lead to three.
Tripp posted a kill, while USC Upstate added an attack error to give PC set and match point, 24-18. Tripp came through again with her second kill in a row to give the Blue Hose the 25-18 set and match win.