Pirates sweep Bobcats at Carson-Newman Tournament

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. --- The Armstrong Atlantic State University women's volleyball team posted a .365 hitting percentage and received a match-high 16 kills from Jessica Santaniello en route to a straight-set sweep of Lees-McRae College on Saturday evening at the Carson-Newman Tournament.

Armstrong Atlantic (6-0) won the match by scores of 25-17, 25-13, and 25-14, limiting Lees-McRae (3-3) to 23 kills while recording eight blocks and seven service aces. Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) led the way for Lees-McRae with nine kills, as Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) added six and five smashes, respectively, Morse was named to the all-tournament team. Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) chipped in 12 assists and a match-high four service aces, while Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted five digs.

Santaniello paced the Pirates with 16 kills and a .560 hitting percentage, while Kristen Holmes and Carina Marinho each added six smashes. Ashley Seal chipped in match-highs of 35 assists and four aces, as Holmes posted five blocks (two solo, three assists) and Santaniello recorded a contest-best seven digs.

Armstrong Atlantic jumped out to an early 13-8 lead in the first set, opening the five-point margin on a kill by Holmes before the Bobcats trimmed the margin to 13-11 on back-to-back service aces from Pritchett. The Pirates would answer with an 11-3 surge, pushing the advantage to 24-14 on a Bobcat miscue before a pair of Clendenin aces cut the lead to 24-17. Armstrong then capped the set on a Bobcat miscue to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Pirates carried the momentum into the second set, taking an early 10-1 lead before the Bobcats answered with a 4-1 spurt to cut the margin to 11-5 on a block by Morse and Clendenin. Armstrong Atlantic would respond with an 11-5 spurt, doubling the advantage to 22-10 on a kill by Marinho before capping the set with a Santaniello smash to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Bobcats battled back early in the third, evening the tally at 5-5 in the frame on an Oliver kill after Armstrong Atlantic opened the frame with a 5-3 run. The Pirates would respond with a 14-5 surge, taking a 19-10 advantage following a smash from Brittany Wolf before capping the set and the match with a 6-4 spurt.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats open their Conference Carolinas schedule, traveling to Bristol, Tenn. to take on King College at 7 p.m.

- LMC -