The Presbyterian College volleyball team battled back and forth with USC Upstate but dropped a heartbreaker in five sets Tuesday evening in Spartanburg, S.C. After falling in the first set, 22-25, PC took the next two, 25-20 and 26-24. The Spartans forced a set five with a 25-18 fourth set victory and held on in the fifth with a 15-12 win.
How it Happened
The Blue Hose and Spartans matched point for point early, with the first set tied 6-6 and again at 13-13. Upstate was the first to break free, taking a 21-16 lead off an 8-3 run. Back to back kills from Sierra Davis helped PC cut the margin to two, 21-19, but USCU responded with three unanswered to pick up set point, 24-19. Davis stepped back up with two kills and a block to cut the margin to two, 24-22. The rally was cut short off a PC service error to give the Spartans the 25-22 win.
PC opened set two by taking the first four straight before extending its lead to 15-7, capped by a 4-0 run. Trailing 11-19, Upstate cut the margin to five at 20-15 off a 4-1 run. The Blue Hose made it a six-point set again, 23-17, off kills from Sara Rogers and Samantha Del Toro. A service error gave PC set point, 24-19, before and Emily Koelling kill made it 24-20. Davis stalled the rally with her 12th kill of the match to give the Blue Hose the 25-20 victory to tie the match at 1-1.
Trailing 9-15 in the third set, PC offense clicked on all cylinders, taking an 11-2 run to build a 20-17 lead. Three straight from Upstate tied the set at 20-20, but PC took the next two of three points, including kills from Erin Eulitz and Davis to make it 23-21. Trailing 22-24, USCU won two unanswered and tied it up at 24-24. That would be it as the Spartans committed two attack errors, giving PC the 26-24 come-from-behind win.
The Blue Hose led early in the fourth set, 5-3, but the Spartans rallied with a 6-0 run to take the 9-5 edge. PC cut the margin to two on several occasions, including 13-15 off a Davis kill, but another run by Upstate, this one a 5-0 affair, made it a 20-13 lead. The Blue Hose cut the deficit to six, 20-14, but that would be as close as they would get as the Spartans kept their distance down the stretch to win it 25-18.
USC Upstate exploded out of the gates in the fifth set, building a 8-0 lead, highlighted by three straight kills and a service ace. PC responded with three unanswered, which included a Del Toro kill, to make it 3-8. Trailing by six, 4-10, a Martina Shamley block ignited a 4-0 run to cut the margin just two, 8-10. Back to back kills from Montana Swanson gave Upstate a 12-8 lead, but Eulitz responded with her 12th kill of the match to make it 9-12. Each team traded points, including another kill from Eulitz, and the margin was two again at 11-13. Swanson’s kill gave the Spartans match point, 12-14, but it was Eulitz again with her career-high 17th kill to stave off the end. Upstate would come away victorious at the end, though with the Spartans taking the next point to win 15-12.
Players of the Matches
Sierra Davis led the Blue Hose with a career-high 20 kills with teammate Erin Eulitz in second with a career-high 17 kills herself, as well as a career-mark .304 hitting percentage. Eulitz added a caeer-high 20 digs for her first double-double. Sara Rogers tied her career-best with 49 assists, with Mikayla Register adding a best 27 digs.
Brianna Tellschow led USC Upstate with 12 kills, with Kaleigh Kelley pacing the team in digs with 22. Madison Haake posted 52 assists.
Stats of the Match
PC held the edge in kills, 56-55, hitting percentage .147-.144, digs, 80-79, and blocks, 12-9. USC Upstate had six more aces, 7-1, and three more assists, 55-52. The eight solo blocks by the Blue Hose is tied for third in PC’s Division I record book.
PC drops to 2-14, while USC Upstate improves to 9-9.
PC returns to Big South action with a Sept. 30, road contest at Gardner-Webb. The match starts at 11:30 a.m.
How to follow
Fans can follow all matches at www.GoBlueHose.com , as well as on twitter at @BlueHoseVolley