Lady Braves Rattle Off 2-1 Record At Lees-McRae Tri-Match
BANNER ELK – The UNCP women's volleyball team rattled off a 2-1 record at the Lees-McRae Tri-Match on Saturday at Williams Gymnasium by defeating Barton and Concord along with a loss to Lees-McRae.
The Lady Braves (6-7) opened up the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Barton with scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-16. UNCP dominated on the court with a 58 percent sideout percentage over Barton (4-5) along with 47 kills, 47 assists, 62 digs, 12 block assists and two block solos. Senior Allie Schneider led the team with 12 kills on 27 attempts for a .333 hitting percentage while Rebecca Morgan added eight kills on 16 attacks.
Heather Bolwerk and Ashlyn Rebok split time on the court as setters along with registering 25 and 18 assists, respectively. Leading the team in digs with 28 was sophomore libero Marissa Baker. Senior Tricia Varno posed a threat at the net as she collected four block assists. Throughout most of the match, UNCP dictated the lead with only 10 tied scores and one lead change which occurred in the second game.
Following the first victory, the Black and Gold faced a tough opponent and suffered a 3-0 loss to host Lees-McRae (6-6) with scores of 25-16, 25-19 and 25-18. A strong .269 hitting percentage and 47 kills helped Lees-McRae overpower the Lady Braves. UNCP suffered its lowest hitting percentage of the season with a .029 percentage. Varno totaled half of UNCP's kills with nine while Baker collected 12 digs.
UNCP bounced back after the loss to capture a 3-0 win over Concord (4-6) with scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-23. The Lady Braves changed up momentum and posted a .188 hitting percentage and 43 kills compared to Concord's .035 hitting percentage and 23 kills. Transfer Sarah Bower tallied the team-high 11 kills while freshman Hannah Hill totaled nine. Bolwerk spent a majority of the match as setter and registered 28 assists. Jennifer Grunden played libero throughout the game and collected 14 digs while Leslie Millard and Hill each tallied 11 digs. Overall the Lady Braves registered a 57 percent sideout percentage, 43 kills, 42 assists, and 61 digs during the match.
"We are still trying to perfect our strengths on the court without becoming too rattled when we get down in a set," said UNCP head coach Jeff Billington. "I have faith we can work out our issues before we head into conference action because we are a strong and competitive team."
The Lady Braves will be back in action on Friday when they host USC Aiken (5-8, 0-0) in their hone and Peach Belt Conference opener at 7 p.m. in the English E. Jones Center.