Fowler named SAC player of week
HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters completed their unblemished week with a 3-0 win over the Brevard College Tornado on Saturdady afternoon at Mary E. Mars Gymnasium.
With their fifth-consecutive win, Lincoln Memorial University moves to 5-1 in league play and 12-5 overall, while the Tornado fall to 1-5 in the South Atlantic Conference and 7-5 on the season.
The Lady Railsplitters used a balanced offensive attack to take the three-set victory (27-25, 25-15, 25-14). As a team, LMU compiled 35 kills on a .268 attack percentage, led by ten kills from Blaire Fowler. She was aided by eight kills from Jennifer Drumm and seven from Kaitin Walton. Brittany Pugh led the Lady Railsplitters with 18 assists and eight digs, while Allison Beavers added 13 assists. Casey Mense led all players with 14 digs in the contest. The Lady Railsplitters defense was stifling as they finished with 12 total blocks.
Kortney Conner led Brevard College in the game with 13 kills, while Kayla Hanus compiled 26 assists. Sydney Yeomans and Fatima Gharachorloo tallied 11 digs apiece.
The first set saw the Lady Railsplitters roll out to a 7-1 lead that was carried by four errors from the Brevard side and a service ace from Brittany Pugh. LMU would cling to that advantage throughout the set, taking the lead to 17-8 with a kill from Casey Mense at the midway point. However, the Tornado implemented a 14-5 run, capped by an LMU attack error to knot the frame at 22-22. LMU took the next two points to grab set point, but the Tornado responded by taking the ensuing two points to square the set at 24-24. The two teams traded points before the Lady Railsplitters closed the stanza with a kill from Jennifer Drumm and a Brevard attack error to take a 27-25 win.
In the second set, the Lady Railsplitters stormed out to a 14-3 lead paced by nine kills from five different players. The Tornados cut the deficit to 17-11 later in the set, however, a 7-0 rally gave the Lady Railsplitters set point. Despite surrendering four consecutive points from that juncture, LMU closed the set with a kill from Jennifer Drumm to seal a 25-15 victory.
The third and final set played out in similar fashion, as Lincoln Memorial rolled out to a 14-5 lead capped by four consecutive kills. With the score at 18-10 later in the frame, the Lady Railsplitters put the set out of reach with a 5-0 run. A service error and a ball handling error ended the third set for Brevard College, as the Lady Railsplitters rolled to a 25-14 victory and a 3-0 sweep in the match.
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Fowler, a senior middle blocker from Ft. Worth, Texas, has been named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week, league officials announced early Monday afternoon.
Fowler led the Lady Railsplitters to a 3-0 mark this past week. She set the tone offensively and defensively for LMU, averaging 4.4 kills and 2.9 digs per set.
The highlight of Blaire’s week came in a 3-1 triumph over Tusculum College in which she tallied 21 kills and 19 digs. She compiled those 21 efficiently with a .391 attack percentage. She also recorded two block assists in the match.
Fowler continued that theme over the weekend in leading the Lady Railsplitters to a pair of sweeps over Lenoir-Rhyne and Brevard. She notched 13 kills and three block assists with a .464 attack percentage against the Bears on Friday. Fowler closed out the week with ten kills and six block assists against the Tornado on Saturday afternoon.
Behind Fowler’s strong play, LMU has captured five-consecutive matches to move to the top spot in the South Atlantic Conference at 5-1. Overall, the Lady Railsplitters are 12-5.
The Lady Railsplitters will be back in action this weekend as they head to West Palm Beach, Fla., for the Pepsi Bash at the Beach. After a pair of games, LMU travels to Lakeland, Fla., to challenge Florida Southern College.