Berea, KY- Spectators at the Seabury Center saw the volleyball team partake in an USA South Tri-Match this afternoon. Along with Berea, the Wesleyan College (GA.) Wolves and Piedmont College Lions, both divisional opponents in the West, played each other in the round robin tri-match.
The first match of the day for the Mountaineers was against the Wolves and the team put on a clinic. The opening set saw Berea race out to a 9-2 lead, aided in part by three Isis Hill kills. The points continued to climb for the Mountaineers as three straight service aces from Alexandra Wilkins gave Berea a 20-8 advantage. 10 kills to just two errors helped the Mountaineers win the first set by a score of 25-10.
The second set saw kills from Addie Bowman, Hill and Kristin Barnes help Berea score 11 of the first 12 points to lead 11-1. The scoring continued for the Mountaineers as two kills from Katherine Gonterman helped Berea outscore Wesleyan 14-6 for the remainder of the set, giving the Mountaineers a 25-7 set victory.
The score went back and forth in the third set before kills from Wilkins and Gonterman helped Berea develop a six point cushion, 12-6. The team cruised from that point to a 3-0 sweep of the Wolves with the 25-14 third set win. Hill finished with a team-high 10 kills followed by seven from Barnes to go along with 18 assists from Wilkins. On the defensive end, Bailie Parker and Wilkins finished with eight digs each while Gonterman, Wilkins, Addie Bowman and Hill each finished with a block assist. The win gives the volleyball their first ever win in the USA South Athletic Conference.
The second match of the day came against the Lions of Piedmont College. The match started out in favor of the visitors as they took a 3-1 lead. The scoreboard changed to the side of the Mountaineers as a 5-4 lead on a Gonterman kill before a kill from Hill helped push the Blue Crew ahead 11-8. Berea stretched their lead out to six during the first set as a kill by Barnes gave the team a 25-19 win.
After close first points in the second set, a Bowman kill with the score tied 3-3 scored sparked a 4-1 point run for the Mountaineers which put them ahead 8-4. Berea kept a cushion for most of the set before Piedmont came back within one point of the Mountaineers' lead to make the score 24-23. Berea held on to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead with a 25-23 set victory.
The third set saw a back and forth affair as the ball fell on each side of the net for both teams. Neither team could take a comfortable lead until the score became tied 14-14 and the Lions scored 11 straight points to win the third set 25-14 and extend the game to a fourth set.
The momentum stayed on the side of Piedmont as the visitors raced out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set. A 4-2 run by the Mountaineers which included kills from Gonterman and Barnes brought Berea back within two points of the lead, making the score 6-4. The scoring would not continue for the Mountaineers as the Lions sent the game to a final and deciding fifth set with a 25-12 fourth set win.
Berea fell behind early in the fifth set before coming back and tying the set 6-6. The tie would be broken by Piedmont as they scored 9 of the next 12 points to win the fifth set 15-9 and the match 3-2. Gonterman finished with a game-high 16 kills while Hill finished with 11 kills. Wilkins finished the match with 28 assists. Destiney Balser had 22 digs during the contest while the Mountaineers finished with 10 block assists.
Berea will be back in action on the road as they travel to Lookout Mountain, GA to take on USA South divisional opponent Covenant College. Live stats of the match scheduled for Wednesday, October 4th with first serve set for 7:00 PM can be found on the official site for Berea College Athletics, www.bereaathletics.com. Live video of the action can be found here.