September 7, 2013

Pacers rally for sweep of Bobcats

FLORENCE, S.C. --- Freshman Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) posted a match-high 10 kills and Jessica Winchester (Bryson City, N.C.) added a double-double with 20 assists and 10 digs, as the University of South Carolina Aiken women's volleyball team rallied in the third set for a sweep of Lees-McRae College at the Francis Marion University Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

USC Aiken (3-1) won the match by scores of 25-14, 25-20, and 25-20, holding Lees-McRae (0-3) to a .020 hitting percentage in the contest while attacking at a .159 clip of its own. The Bobcats tallied 45 digs, as the Pacers recorded 41 digs, 10 blocks and six service aces.

Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) paced the Bobcats with a match-high 10 kills, while Jessica Winchester (Bryson City, N.C.) added a double-double with 10 digs and a contest-best 20 assists. Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) each tallied six kills, as Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) chipped in 13 digs.

USC Aiken was led by a balanced attack with six players recording at least four kills, including Taylor Stratton and Hannah Tierney with five smashes each. Monica Cardona posted a match-high 15 digs as Amanda Bologna and Sheila Walsh both tallied 12 assists. Aly Johnson added a contest-best five block assists for the Pacers.

Aiken got off to a strong start in the first set, taking an early 14-7 lead on an Aly Johnson kill before the Bobcats answered with a 6-4 spurt, closing the gap to 18-13 following back-to-back miscues by the Pacers. The Pacers responded with a 7-1 run, claiming the set and an early 1-0 lead in the contest on a tandem block by Johnson and Leah Rodgers.

Lees-McRae opened the second frame with two quick points before Aiken countered with a 14-7 run, taking a 14-9 advantage on a Johnson smash. After Aiken pushed the margin to 19-12 with an ace from Katie Toman, the Bobcats battled back with a 4-2 spurt to close the gap to 21-16 following a Beatty kill. The Pacers would hold on for a 25-20 win and a 2-0 advantage in the match, capping the set with a block by Johnson and Tierney.

The Bobcats found their form early in the third set, opening the period with a 7-4 run that was capped by a block from Beatty and Haylee Leonard (Walburg, N.C.). Following a 5-2 spurt by the Pacers, Lees-McRae answered with a 6-2 stretch to claim a 15-11 advantage on an Aiken miscue.

The Pacers battled back with a 10-2 surge, taking a 21-17 lead on a Bobcat attack error before a pair of Aiken miscues cut the margin to 22-19. Aiken countered once again, tallying three of the final five points to cap the set and the match with a kill by Tierney.

Lees-McRae returns to the court later Saturday afternoon when the Bobcats take on Mars Hill University in their final match at the Francis Marion University Tournament. First serve is slated for 5:30 p.m.

- LMC -