Newberry, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan fell in their first match of the day in the Newberry Volleyball Invitational against the Lander University Bearcats.
The Warriors posted 34 kills in the three sets against the Bearcats. Paige O'Connor led the team in kills with 10. She was followed by freshman Olivia Johnson with eight. Annika Jones led the team with 23 assists and two service aces. The Warriors had eight blocks in the evening with senior Kendall Vallancourt leading the team with three blocks.
Set One Final: Lander 25, Southern Wesleyan 19
Set Two Final: Lander 25, Southern Wesleyan 21
Set Three Final: Lander 25, Southern Wesleyan 23
Records: Southern Wesleyan (0-1), Lander (2-0)
How It Happened
The Bearcats struck first in the first set against the Warriors. However a kill by freshman Liz Kuntz allowed the Warriors to tie the first set 1-1. An attack error by Bearcat Jessica Johnson allowed Southern Wesleyan to take a 4-2 lead. The Warriors could not hold their 6-4 lead as the Bearcats rallied to take a 10-6 before a kill by Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to put a seventh point on the board. A kill by freshman Olivia Johns and an attack error by Dale Rogers brought the Warriors to 16-10 behind the Lander Bearcats. Despite kills by Kendall Vallancourt, Olivia Johnson and Paige O'Connor.
The Warriors struck first in the second set of the match, quickly taking a 5-0 lead over the Bearcats on kills by Olivia Johnson and several service aces by Annika Jones. Bearcat Hannah Hritz had a kill to put Lander on the board, however Southern took a 7-1 lead on a kill by Annika Jones and service ace by Kendall Vallancourt. The Bearcats shortened the Warriors lead to 11-10, however a kill by senior Paige O'Connor allowed the Warriors to regain a 12-10 lead. The lead was short lived as the Bearcats score consecutive points to take a 14-13 point lead over Southern Wesleyan. The game remained close with the Warriors coming to within one point of the Bearcats several times, but they could not pull ahead as Lander took set 25-21.
Lander struck first in the third set of the match, however a service error allowed the Warriors to tie it up 1-1. The Bearcats pulled ahead, but the Warriors tied it several on kills by Paige O'Connor. Southern Wesleyan took an 8-6 point lead after a kill by Annika Jones. Consecutive kills by Olivia Johnson, Paige O'Connor and Courtney Price allowed the Warriors to take a 13-11 point lead over the Bearcats. A service ace by senior Shelby Sheets took their lead to 15-11. Southern Wesleyan lengthened their lead to six points, however the Bearcats rallied back to tie the match 23-23. The Warriors fought hard, but the Bearcats pulled ahead to win the final set of the match 25-23.
Southern Wesleyan will continue to play in the Newberry Volleyball Invitational by taking on UNC Pembroke at 8 p.m. They will continue to play in the invitational on September 2 to take on Newberry College at 11 a.m. and Coker College at 7 p.m. They will then travel to Shorter University on September 6.