LaGrange, GA- The volleyball team concluded their season on the road this afternoon, finishing in conference with a tri-match. Hosted by the LaGrange College Panthers, the Agnes Scott College Scotties were the other team to participate with the Mountaineers.
The first match came against the host Panthers as Berea took the first lead off a Katherine Gonterman kill. The lead briefly changed to the favor of LaGrange before two kills from Alexandra Wilkins and Kristin Barnes gave the Mountaineers a 5-4 lead. Berea held on to the advantage for the next couple of points before giving up the lead again with the score 12-10. As the teams exchanged points and tied multiple times, a Destiney Balser service ace gave the Mountaineers an 18-17 lead. Berea was unable to hold on to their lead though as the Panthers scored four straight points and went on to win the first set 25-22.
Balser began the second set with a service ace for the Mountaineers, giving them a 1-0 lead. After falling behind, an attack error by LaGrange followed by a kill from Caitlyn Miller and a service ace from Wilkins gave Berea three straight points to move ahead 7-4. The score, 9-6, stayed on the side of the Mountaineers until a momentum shift helped the Panthers score eight straight points to take control of the lead 14-9. Berea was unable to turn the tide back in their favor as LaGrange took the second set by a score of 25-17.
Gonterman's kill in the third set tied the score 1-1 before an attack error by the Panthers broke the tie and gave the Mountaineers the lead. After LaGrange scored four consecutive points to take the lead, kills from Barnes and Isis Hill kept Berea within two points of the lead, 6-4. Five straight points by the Panthers moved their lead to seven points, making the score 11-4. The deficit did not phase the Mountaineers though, as they scored nine of the next 11 points, which included kills from Hill, Wilkins and Bailie Parker, to tie the match 13-13. A kill from Barnes gave Berea a brief 16-14 advantage but the Mountaineers could not hold on to the lead as LaGrange went on to win the third set 25-21, winning the match 3-0.
Hill led the team in kills with nine while Wilkins aided the offense with 15 assists. Balser and Parker finished tied on the defensive end with eight digs.
The second match against Agnes Scott started with the Scotties racing out to a 7-1 lead. A sequence of a Barnes kill, Balser service ace and a second Barnes kill helped Berea score four of the next six points to make the score 9-5. Mersiha Mustafic's kill brought the Mountaineers back to within three points of the lead after they fell behind by six points, making the score 13-10. A block assist from Hill and Miller brought Berea within two points of the lead as the score changed to 18-16 but the Mountaineers were unable to take the lead and went on to fall in the first set 25-16.
The second set saw a better start for Berea as a kill by Barnes gave the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead. After giving up the lead, Hill's kill kept the Blue Crew within one point of the lead before a six point run from Agnes Scott pushed their lead to seven points, 12-5. Berea would be unable to recover from the point streak as the Scotties took the second set by a score of 25-13.
The opening segments of the third set saw a Miller kill tie the game at 3-3. A brief lead for the Mountaineers occurred before five straight points from Agnes Scott gave them an 8-4 advantage. Berea pulled within two points of the lead two times but could not turn the lead in their favor on the scoreboard. Trailing 20-16, an opportunity to take the lead presented itself as a Parker service ace and a Scotties' attack error brought the Mountaineers back to within two. Berea would get as close as Alone point but was unable to close out the set, losing the third set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
Barnes led the way offensively with seven kills to go along with 13 assists from Wilkins. Balser finished with 24 digs in the match for the defense.
Hill finished the season as the team leader in kills with 154 while Wilkins finished with 379 assists. Balser finished her final season with 273 digs on the defensive end. Wilkins also led the team in service aces with 20. Along with kills, Hill finished with the most blocks on the season, combining 17 blocks solos and 29 block assists to finish with 46 total blocks.