Brevard, N.C. - Jamie Atkinson had the best game of her career for the Tornados as the junior outside hitter recorded her first collegiate triple-double with a game-high 15 kills, 10 set assists and 13 digs, but Whitney Brinkley led the Bears with 15 kills as Lenoir-Rhyne topped the Tornados in Boshamer Gymnasium on Tuesday night, 25-20, 21-25, 25-14, 25-12.
Ashlie Morrison added 11 kills for Brevard (4-14, 0-11 SAC), while Bethany Stevenson set up the attack with 32 assists as the Tornados hit 15.6 percent from the floor in the game. Lindsey Rogers led the backline with a season high 25 digs and Kortney Conner added 10, while Taryn Gmitroski and Atkinson each recorded five blocks in the match as the Tornados fell in conference action.
Haley Rhyne and Kayla Morrow were also in double figures in the kills category for Lenoir-Rhyne (12-9, 4-6 SAC), while Meredith Lutz added a game-high 44 set assists. Four players were in double-digits in digs, led by Emily Culler’s team high 16, while Joanna Whitmire, Morrow and Chelsea Hill all had five blocks in the match.
The Tornados took control of the net halfway through the first set as Gmitroski and Atkinson combined to block three consecutive L-R attacks to go up 14-10. Lenoir-Rhyne battled back, tying the match at 19 apiece on combined block by Morrow and Lutz during 7-0 run as the Bears went up 24-19. Morrow put the ball away two points later to give L-R the 25-20 set victory.
Brevard recorded the first four points of the second set behind kills by Atkinson and Morrison and a service ace by Stevenson on their way to building a 13-10 lead. The Bears battled back, tying the match at 14 apiece on a service ace by Morrow, but the Tornados again went back up by three on a Morrison kill at 20-17. The Bears again rallied, cutting it back to within two at 23-21, but the Tornados were able to put it away on an Atkinson service ace to even the score after the 25-21 victory.
The Bears jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the pivotal third set on their way to the 25-14 victory behind six kills by Rhyne and continued their hot streak in the fourth set, recording 13 of the first 14 points before an Atkinson kill ended the run. The Tornados continued to fight throughout the match, but back-to-back kills by Brinkley closed out the match in the Bears’ favor, 25-12.
Brevard remains in South Atlantic Conference action as they travel to Newberry, S.C. on Friday, October 14th. First serve between the Tornados and the Wolves is set for 6:30 p.m.