WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Behind a pair of standout performances by Stephanie Lambert and Maggie Weiss the Brevard volleyball team earned a five-game victory over Salem by scores of 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25 and 15-13 on Wednesday evening.
Lambert, responsible for a match-high 23 kills, was joined in double figures by Hannah Elmore and Rachel Ruble, who added 10 strikes apiece, as Brevard tallied 60 kills in the match and improved to 3-1 overall on the season. Meanwhile, the combination of Weiss (31 digs), Kasey West (21), Bri Vargas (20) and Josie McElroy (17) led the way for a Tornado defense that recorded 122 digs.
The tightly contested match continued into the fifth set as the teams reached an early four-all tie on a kill off the hand of Lambert. With Vargas in serve the Tornados rallied behind their senior leader, scoring the next four points to assume an 8-4 lead.
Salem used a 6-2 run, highlighted by two kills from Kylie Taffer, to pull even at 10. The two teams evenly split the next six points, reaching a climatic 13-13 tie, before consecutive kills by Vargas and Lambert provided Brevard with its third win of the season.
Brevard managed to overcome an early lead by the Spirits in the fourth set to pull even at five behind a kill by Elmore. The two teams traded the next 22 points as they endured six ties to reach a 16-all deadlock on a Salem service error.
Kathryn O'Connell's kill coupled with unforced errors by the Brevard offense allowed the Spirits to take a three point lead, forcing a Tornado timeout. Brevard regrouped and responded with two service aces by McElroy to pull even at 19. Taffer followed with two kills among the next three points to help force a decisive fifth game as Salem posted the three-point win.
The two teams were locked in a back-and-forth battle in the third set with Salem eventually assuming the lead behind the service game of O'Connell. O'Connell, who took advantage of two kills by Taffer, helped the Spirits establish a 14-6 lead.
Timely kills by Lambert helped Brevard narrow the margin to four, but it was the combination of O'Connell and Taffer down the stretch that helped Salem secure the victory.
The Tornados used the momentum from the close of the first set to assume a 10-7 behind four kills and a service ace by Lambert. The three-point advantage ballooned to six on a series of kills from Ruble and Vargas as the Brevard offense was finding rhythm.
Salem capitalized on two unforced errors to trim the Tornado advantage to four, but it was four Spirit errors coupled with a Ruble kill down the stretch that provided Brevard the 2-0 advantage.
After surrendering the first five points of the opening set, Brevard scored six of the next seven points to pull even on a slam by Lambert. Salem was unwilling to surrender the lead, putting together an 8-5 run, highlighted by two kills from Taffer as it grabbed a 14-11 advantage.
Brevard trimmed the lead to one, 17-16, but a series of strikes by Taffer and Taylor Moulton kept the Spirits in front 21-19. An unforced error by Salem opened the door for West to take over in serve and following a series of kills by Jenkins the Tornados had knotted the contest at 23-all. Weiss came through with a critical service ace and forced Taffer to commit an attack error to give Brevard the two-point victory.
The Tornados return to action on Sept. 15 when they face Emory & Henry.