SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba topped visiting Lenoir-Rhyne in four tightly contested sets in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Tuesday night at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians won by the scores of 26-24, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-19 to improve to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the SAC. The Bears fall to 5-4 and 2-1.
Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) delivered 20 kills and 18 digs to pace Catawba, while Alli Parrish (Zebulon, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) added 11 kills, 14 digs and three blocks. Setter Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) handed out 46 assists with seven kills and 10 digs, while libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry HS) registered 33 digs.
Four Bears reached double figures in kills led by Ashley Wells (Lovingston, VA) with 15. She also had three blocks. Kayla Morrow (China Grove, NC) tallied 13 kills, while Brittany Toffan (Horseheads, NY) had 11 kills and three blocks. Haley Rhyne (Statesville, NC) totaled 10 kills and libero Emily Culler (Mount Airy, NC) collected 25 digs.
The match went back-and-forth between the teams before a late run in the fourth set decided it for Catawba. Lenoir-Rhyne held a 17-15 lead when freshman Rachel Gallup (Fredericksburg, VA/Courtland HS) recorded a kill for the Lady Indians. Carson Brewer (Raleigh, NC/Middle Creek HS/Cape Fear CC) then served up eight straight points to swing the match to Catawba. Whitmer had three kills in the run and Raye added two more then another on match point.
Catawba jumped to a 6-2 lead in the opening set and went on to a 13-8 edge. Lenoir-Rhyne rallied back to tie the set at 20-all. Kills from Wells, Morrow and Rhyne gave the Bears a 23-21 lead, but Catawba got a kill from Abby Pennington (Blacksburg, VA/Blacksburg HS) and a LR error to tie the set. Whitmer served an ace to get the Lady Indians a set point and another LR error ended it.
The Bears made a push midway through the second set before Catawba got back within 17-16 on a kill from Parrish. Toffan and Wells had kills for the Bears and Lenoir-Rhyne went on to end the set on kills from Wells and Rhyne.
The Lady Indians went up 5-1 in the third set, but LR roared back to tie the set at 7-all. Brewer briefly had Catawba up 18-14 with an ace before LR tied it 21-all on a kill from Rhyne. Consecutive errors on Lenoir-Rhyne and a kill from Raye put Catawba up 24-21. A block by Rhyne pulled the Bears within 24-23 before a kill from Brewer ended the set and put the Lady Indians up two sets to one.
Brewer added eight kills, 12 digs, a pair of blocks and an ace for Catawba. Pennington had eight kills and five blocks. Catawba will host Brevard on Friday night at 7 p.m. in its next match.