COLUMBIA, S.C. - Holly Shelton posted a career-best 19 kills as the UNC Asheville volleyball team was edged by ETSU, 3-2 Friday morning in the opening game of the season at the Gamecock Invitational.


The Bulldogs won the first two sets, 25-17, 25-14 but the Lady Bucs rallied to win the next three sets, 25-17, 25-21 and 15-10.


"We're a young team and it showed in this first match," commented Asheville coach Frederico Santos. "We surprised ETSU early on with our athleticism, but we're still learning to play together and that became evident as the match went on.


"After the first two sets, we were constantly trying to come from behind and couldn't sustain a rally," added Santos. "However, there's a lot of potential with this year's club, and I see a lot of promise after this first match.


"We're playing teams like ETSU and others in this tournament that is similar to the top teams in the Big South," Santos also said. "These matches will prepare us for Big South Conference play later in the year."


Junior Anna Moore had 14 kills and eight blocks for Asheville. Freshman Christine Lakatos had eight kills and eight digs. Freshman setter Katie Davis had 45 assists and nine digs. Rachel Wells led the defense for the Bulldogs with 11 digs.


Asheville plays Akron at 3 p.m. in the second game of the tournament. The Bulldogs face Temple at 10 a.m. and South Carolina at 8 p.m. on Saturday.