ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Christine Lakatos and Holly Shelton posted 15 kills each as UNC Asheville downed Big South foe Winthrop 3-0 at Justice Center Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs won the match 25-23, 26-24, 25-20.
The victory was Asheville's (11-17, 7-5 BSC) fifth in its last six matches and gave the Bulldogs a win in their final home match of the year. Winthrop fell to 13-15 overall and 7-6 in the league.
Anna Moore added 12 kills for the home team. Rachel Wells sparked the defense with 14 digs.
Rachel Lenz had an impressive performance for the Lady Eagles with 14 kills, while Jennica Mullins added 11 kills and four blocks. Stephanie Palmer posted nine kills, seven digs and four blocks. Catherine Brusie had a game-high 16 digs.
"We really played a great match today against a talented Winthrop team," commented Bulldog head coach Frederico Santos. "Today we played with a lot of maturity and were able to get key points when we absolutely had to have them. I want to thank our crowd today. They've been great all year, and they were just tremendous this afternoon. We went 6-2 at home this season and our crowd helped pull us through some of those wins.
The Bulldogs took the first set, 25-23 behind eight kills form Shelton. Asheville used a 3-0 run midway through the set to lead 14-12. The Bulldogs could never get to0 far ahead as Lenz posted six kills in the opening set for the Eagles. But Asheville maintained its lead the rest of the set as Winthrop had a costly serving error late and two hitting errors to allow the Bulldogs to win the opening set.
The second set was another barn-burner with 12 ties. However, Asheville used a 4-0 run to take a 16-13 lead as Lakatos had three straight kills. Winthrop would rally and tie the match at 20-20. The Bulldogs would have set point at 24-22 on a Shelton kill but the Eagles responded with kills from Palmer and Lenz to tie the set at 24-24. But a kill from Shelton and a hitting error gave Asheville the second set 26-24.
In the third set, each team built early three-point leads before the Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run to sprint to a 20-17 lead. Asheville would see Winthrop cut the lead to 21-19 and 22-20 but finish the match off with three straight kills, the last from Lakatos to give the Bulldogs the win.
UNC Asheville finishes the season on the road next weekend with two Big South Conference matches. The Bulldogs play at league leader Liberty next Friday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m., followed by match at Radford the next day (Nov. 10) at 4 p.m. Winthrop plays at Presbyterian College Friday night at 7 p.m.