Lady Railsplitters defeat Tusculum in 4
HARROGATE, Tenn. — Four different players topped the 10-kill mark as the Lady Railsplitters snapped a three-game losing skid to the Tusculum Pioneers with a four-set victory (25-20, 25-27, 25-16, 25-22) in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Tuesday. Lincoln Memorial University improves to 7-5 on the season and 3-1 in SAC play while the Pioneers drop to 7-4 overall and 2-2.
Sophomore outside hitter Kendra Gephart led the Lady Railsplitters with 16 kills accrued on a monster .394 attack percentage. Gephart paced Lincoln Memorial to a .229 team attack percentage while adding 15 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Jazzy Oates added 13 kills, senior Kaitlin Walton 12 and Brooke Fleeman finished with 11.
Freshman Abby Cash was efficient while governing the Lady Railsplitters’ offensive attack, capping the night with a match-high 32 assists to go along with a team-leading 16 digs. Casey Mense had 12 digs and Chelsea Ferron added 11.
The Pioneers were led offensively by Rachel Garnett who posted a match-high 17 kills with a .205 attack percentage. Megan Hasse backed that effort with 13 putdowns and Danae Stauffer added nine in the losing battle. Hannah Berling led the Pioneers with 24 assists while Caitlyn Dean paced all players in the match with 34 digs.
A kill by Kassie Voelker squared the first set at 8-8 before the Lady Railsplitters countered with a 6-1 run paced by two kills from Gephart to dash in front, 14-9. The Pioneers fought back into the set with three-straight kills, and later a kill from Stauffer cut the lead to 20-19. LMU assumed command behind a 4-0 rally and Gephart sealed a 25-20 victory for Lincoln Memorial with a kill.
After battling back-and-forth throughout the second stanza, the Lady Railsplitters used a kill from Walton and attack error from Tusculum’s side to take a 24-23 lead. The Pioneers fought off set point and took a 25-24 lead on two straight kills from Garnett. A service error from the Pioneers knotted the game at 25 apiece, however, two-straight LMU attack errors gave Tusculum a 27-25 set victory.
The two teams traded points in the early passage of play in the third set before the Lady Railsplitters effectively grabbed the momentum with a 12-3 rally to break away from an 8-8 stalemate. The Pioneers used an LMU attack error to cut the deficit to 24-16, but it was too little too late as the Lady Railsplitters sealed a 25-16 victory with an attack error by the Pioneers.
Another back-and-forth battle ensued in the fourth frame as Stauffer notched a kill to tie the set at 18 apiece. However, the Lady Railsplitters answered by taking five of the next six points on the wings of three kills and two miscues by the Pioneers. A Garnett kill and an LMU attack error cut the score to 23-21 before Fleeman notched a kill and the combo of Oates and Cash stonewalled an attempted attack to take a 25-22 victory.
The Lady Railsplitters visit Coker on Friday at 7 p.m.
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