MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill volleyball team (9-4, 3-2 SAC) took down Catawba (5-10, 1-3 SAC) in five sets (23-25, 25-20, 25-15, 24-26, 15-12) Saturday afternoon on the road in South Atlantic Conference action.
Maddie Spurgeon opened the fifth frame by hitting three kills to give the Lions their first three points of the set. She would knock down the last three kills for Mars Hill, including the final point of the contest, to secure the 3-2 win. Of the eight kills the Lions had in the fifth, Spurgeon accounted for six of them.
The Indians took the first set and were led offensively by Allie Grubb. Grubb had nine kills on 11 attempts and hit .727 to lead all players. Catawba hit .361 to the Lions .222 and would go on to win four of the last six points of the frame to go up 1-0 early on.
Mars Hill would knot the game at one all by taking the second set, 25-20, with Sarah Goddard leading the Lions' offense. She had four kills on five attempts and added six digs and two assists. The Lions trailed for the opening portion of the set until the game was tied at 11 all. Mars Hill would take six of the next eight points to build a 17-13 lead and provide them enough distance to take the second set.
In their most dominant set, the Lions hit .500 in the third with 14 kills on 26 attempts and one error. Elizabeth Kaeser and Dayanna Barbosa each had four kills in the frame. Like Goddard the set previous, Kaeser also hit .800 in the set. Aside from giving up the first point, the Lions never trailed in the set and closed out the third by winning nine of the last 12 points. Catawba's eight errors proved costly as they went down 2-1 heading into the fourth.
The Lions and Indians battled all throughout the stanza. The Lions trailed 17-13 before reeling off four straight points to tie the game. Following a Catawba timeout, the Indians would regain the lead with three straight points of their own. The teams traded points down the stretch, but with the Lions leading 24-23, the Indians' were able to win the final three points of the set and force a decisive fifth set.
Catawba knocked down 70 kills compared to the Lions' 61, however, their 34 errors to the Lions' 17 proved costly in defeat.
Grubb ended the game tied with Kaeser for the game-high in kills with 17. Morgan Hester led all players with 55 assists in the contest. Jade Brooks (15), Micah Ensor (12) and Kimberly Hurtado (11) all ended the game in double-digits in kills.
Spurgeon ended the game with 14 kills and four blocks. Sally Anne Johnson had a game-high seven blocks and added six kills. Ully Martins led all players with 23 digs while Sara Pasour had a team-high 27 assists.
Mars Hill returns to Stanford Arena on Tuesday, September 25 when they square off against Tusculum. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.