After both teams went back and forth in sets, UNC Asheville won a tight, 15-13 fifth set, to edge the Presbyterian College volleyball team, 3-2, in Big South action Saturday night at Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C. PC won the first set, 25-23, before dropping the next, 26-24. The Blue Hose rallied with a 25-21 win in the third set, but Asheville responded by winning the fourth set, 25-14, and the fifth, 15-13.
The Blue Hose, who drop to 7-10 overall and 2-3 in the Big South, stay home next week as they host Campbell Friday, Oct. 17, in a 7 p.m. match, and then Host High Point the 18th for a 6:00 p.m. match. UNC Asheville improves to 4-16, 1-4.
Pacing the Blue Hose were Rachel Elshoff with 14 kills, Ashton Stewart with 12 and Halle Tripp with 11. Ashtin Frank added 51 assists, while Mary Trimpe added 21 kills. PC recorded 60 kills on the night and had a .114 hitting percentage, along with 6.0 team blocks.
UNC Asheville was led by Christine Lakatos with 17 kills. Catherine Fischer and Shelby Erickson followed with 13 kills apiece. Katie Davis had 48 assists, while Bryn Pfieffer added 21 digs. The Bulldogs ended the night with 64 kills and a .212 hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 15-5 first set lead and looked to be in control, but the Blue Hose chipped away and, trailing 14-20, scored six unanswered behind Franks’ block assist and kill, as well as two successful attacks by Stewart, to tie the set. Tied again at 21-21, PC took its final lead off an Asheville bad set. The Blue Hose used an Asheville error to earn set point 24-22, but a PC attack error cut the margin to one. Berryman erased any potential rally with a kill to give the Blue Hose the 25-23 first set win.
The Blue Hose opened up a 9-2 lead in the second set, before Asheville rallied to cut the margin to three, 9-6. A Johna Robbins kill and a block assists by Stewart and Frank gave PC the four-point lead, 11-6. The Bulldogs responded by outscoring the Blue Hose 9-4 to tie the set at 15-15.
A Berryman kill broke the tie with an Asheville attack error extending the lead to 17-15. Tied again at 18-18 off a PC attack error, the Bulldogs took a one-point lead off an Erickson kill. PC tied it back at 19-19, but Davis responded with a kill as Asheville took the 20-19 lead. Davis and Katie Creger used a block assist to build a 21-19 lead.
Trailing 22-19, Robbins laced a kill to cut the margin to two, 20-22, but a Creger kill made it a three-point set, 20-23. The Blue Hose hung in, with a kill from Frank and a Bulldog error to cut the lead back to one, 22-23, forcing an Asheville timeout. Davis gave Asheville set point at 24-22 with a kill, but Elshoff responded with one of her while the Bulldogs committed an attack error to tie the set at 24-24. Asheville rallied with a kill by Fischer and a PC bad set to take the 26-24 second set win.
A close third set early, the score was tied at 15-15, before PC went by two off a Elshoff and Berryman block assists and an Asheville attack error. The Blue Hose were able to keep a multiple digit lead for the remainder of the set, building a 24-18 lead off a 5-0 run that included kills by Elshoff and Stewart.
Asheville’s Fischer recorded back to back kills, while Erickson added another, to cut PC’s lead to three, 24-21, but it was not as Elshoff came through again with her 10th kill of the night to seal the 25-21 third set win.
Ahead by just one, 7-6, UNC Asheville broke open a 13-7 lead in the fourth set off a 7-1 run. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 17-10 off a PC service error, but it was Tripp and Stewart with a kill apiece that cut the margin to five, 12-17. It was short-lived as back to back Blue Hose errors took the Asheville lead back to seven, 19-12. That was the start of a 6-0 run as the Bulldogs built a commanding 23-12 lead. Stewart ended the drought with a kill, but the Bulldogs scored the next two of three points to take the 25-14 fourth set win to force a fifth set.
The fifth set was a back and forth battle the first few points until a Madison Vaughn kill and Lakatos block gave Asheville a 5-3 lead. PC cut the lead to 4-5, but another Vaughn kill and Lakatos block gave the Bulldogs the 7-4 lead.
After Stewart’s kill cut the margin to two, 5-7, Lakatos came through again, this time with a kill of her own to give Asheville the 8-5 lead.
PC wouldn’t go quietly, taking the next three points off a Stewart kill, Bulldog error and a Frank kill to tie the fifth set at 8-8. With the score tied again at 10-10, PC took a 12-11 lead, helped in part to a kill by Elshoff. Asheville rallied to tie the set at 12-12 and take the 13-12 lead off a Davis kill. The Bulldogs reached set point off a PC attack error before Tripp came back with a kill to make it 13-14. Erickson ended the set and match to give the Bulldogs the 15-13 set and match win.