Hickory, N.C. – After six days away from competition, the Brevard College women’s volleyball team fell on the road at Lenoir-Rhyne University, 3-1, in Hickory, N.C. on Halloween night.
The Tornados battled with the Bears until the very end, as Coach Skeffington’s squad bounced back from a 19-25 first set loss to win the second set 25-22. However, the Bears held off the Tornados down the stretch in set three to score the 25-21 win and then pulled away from Brevard in the fourth and final set with a 25-15 win.
The loss drops the Tornados to 11-15 overall and 2-12 in the SAC in their first season as full members. Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 12-16 overall and 4-8 in the conference and has won their last three SAC matches.
The opening set of the match saw both teams go back-and-forth for the first 10 points. With the scored tied at 5-5, a kill by the Bears’ Kassi Henry gave Lenoir-Rhyne a 6-5 lead, a lead that the home team would not relinquish for the remainder of the set.
BC, who never got closer than four points for most of the match, cut the lead to two points at 20-18 on an L-R service error but could not get any closer as the Bears outscored the Tornados 5-1 down the final stretch to come away with the 25-19 first set win.
In the second set, the Tornados fell behind 10-7 early on a kill by Lindsey Cantu only to storm back and take a 15-14 lead on a kill by freshman Jordei Osby. The Tornados scored two more consecutive points – one by way of a Jami Perry service ace and the other on a Lenoir-Rhyne attack error – to pull ahead by three at 17-14 and force the Bears to call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Bears scored back-to-back points to pull with in one at 17-16. The Bears again cut the Tornados lead to one at 23-22 on a Chelsea Hill service ace, forcing Brevard to call a timeout of its own. BC responded, coming out of the team huddle scoring back-to-back points on kills by Cori Emory and Chelsey Trojan to win the second set 25-22 and knot the match score up at 1-1.
However, in the third set the Bears jumped out to a huge 11-6 lead, forcing the Tornados to try to come back from behind early. The Tornados never gave up as BC battled back to take a 16-15 lead on a kill by junior Megan Street.
The two teams then traded points until a BC attack error gave the Bears’ an 18-17 lead, a lead that Lenoir-Rhyne held on to for the remainder of the set. Brevard again cut the lead to one point at 22-21 on a kill by Trojan, yet Lenoir-Rhyne scored the next three points to take the 25-21 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Tornados took a 6-5 lead on a kill by Street early in the fourth and final set, only to have Lenoir-Rhyne answer with a 5-0 run to pull ahead 10-6 and force a BC timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Tornados scored first on another kill by Street, but ultimately were outscored 10-5 over the next 15 points by Lenoir-Rhyne to fall behind 20-11. BC was able to cut the lead to six at 20-14 on an L-R attack error but it was too little to late as Lenoir-Rhyne picked up the 25-15 win and the overall 3-1 match victory.
BC junior transfer Trojan led the Tornados with 11 kills and two service aces. Junior middle hitter Brooke Seaman posted 10 kills and two solo blocks on the night, while senior setter Perry dished out 37 set assists. Perry also had 16 digs for the match, while sophomore libero Rebecca Schoonover recorded 17 digs, one shy of the match-high.
For Lenoir-Rhyne, Cantu had a match-high 19 kills and 18 digs, while setter Hannah Stewart dished out a match-high 46 set assists. Katie Novacek was also in double-digits in kills with 11 on the night.
For the match, the Bears had 10 service aces, as Marrissa Church and Elizabeth Flattery had three services aces apiece.
The Tornados will head back down to Salisbury, N.C. tomorrow afternoon, as Brevard will take on the Catawba College Indians at Catawba College at 5 p.m. The Bears will play host to Newberry College tomorrow afternoon, as that match is slated for a 1 p.m. start time.