ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Anna Moore posted two of UNC Asheville's last three kills in the fifth set as the Bulldogs edged a determined and scrappy Presbyterian College squad, 3-2 in a Big South Conference match at Justice Center Friday night. Asheville won the match 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 23-25, 16-14.
The Bulldogs (10-17, 6-5 BSC) won their fourth match in their last five games. The Blue Hose fell to 11-16 overall and 8-4 in the league. It was Asheville's fifth consecutive five-set victory.
Holly Shelton led the Bulldogs with 18 kills, while Meredith Foster and Moore added 15 kills each. Moore contributed a career-high 10 blocks. Foster hit .500 on the night and added six blocks. Rachel Wells posted 33 digs, while Alex Stewart added 14 digs. Setter Katie Davis contributed 54 assists, four blocks and 11 digs. Shelton had a double-double with 13 digs.
PC was led by a game-high 21 kills from Presley Mabrey. She had a double-double with 18 digs. Mary Trimpe had a game-high 35 digs for the Blue Hose. Setter Ashtin Frank finished with 60 assists. Andrea Barman added 17 kills. Rachel Hall chipped in 11 kills.
"We found a way to win. I'm proud of our team for finding a way to win the match when we could have easily lost," commented Bulldog coach Frederico Santos. "Presbyterian College is a very good team that just would not go away. It was a great college volleyball match that we were fortunate to come out on top."
In the fifth set, Asheville led 9-6 before the Blue Hose rallied to take a 12-10 lead. The Bulldogs came back and tied the set at 13-13 on a Foster kill.
But Mabrey picked up her 21st kill to push PC in front 14-13 and give the Blue Hose a match point.
Moore tied it up with a kill at 14-14. Shelton followed with a kill after a long rally to push the Bulldog lead to 15-14 and give the home team match point.
Moore ended the match with a tip that found the floor to give the Bulldogs the dramatic win.
Asheville rallied late to win the first set. The Blue Hose led most of the set but the Bulldogs caught the visitors on a Moore kill to tie the set at 19-19. Tied at 22-22, two kills from Foster and a hitting error from PC gave Asheville the first set 25-22. The Bulldogs blocking caused problems for the Blue Hose as Asheville has five blocks that helped cause nine PC hitting errors. Foster, a junior middle blocker from Hendersonville, N.C., posted seven kills on nine attempts in the set.
In the second set, Asheville controlled most of the way. The Bulldogs forced the visitors into 10 hitting errors with five blocks. PC was within 18-16 before Moore posted two kills to spark a 7-2 run and a 25-18 victory.
The third set was all Presbyterian for most of the set. The Blue Hose build a commanding 13-3 lead as Asheville had to take its timeouts during the PC run to start the set. The visitors led 19-11 before the Bulldogs came roaring back. Led by three kills from Moore and some PC hitting errors, Asheville crept to 22-19. The Bulldogs got to 24-22 before a kill from Mabrey kept the Blue Hose alive. Mabrey had six kills in the third set.
The fourth set had PC building a 15-10 lead before the Bulldogs rallied behind Shelton. She had four kills to lead at 12-3 run as Asheville led 22-18. But the Blue Hose rallied to score five straight points behind three kills from Mabrey to lead 23-22. A kill from Foster knotted the match at 23-23 but a kill from Mabrey and a block solo from Frank gave the fourth set to the Blue Hose 25-23.
UNC Asheville plays its final home of the season on Saturday as the Bulldogs host Big South rival Winthrop at 2 p.m. It will be Senior Day as Asheville honors seniors Holly Shelton and Chelsie Kenley prior to the match. Presbyterian College travels to Gardner-Webb for a Big South match starting at 5 p.m.