ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Christine Lakatos posted a career-high 22 kills as UNC Asheville outlasted Gardner-Webb 3-1 in a Big South Conference battle at Justice Center Friday night. The Bulldogs won the match 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23.
Anna Moore added 12 kills for Asheville (10-6, 1-0 BSC), while Catherine Fischer came off the bench to add 10 kills. Rachel Wells had a season-30 digs. Katie Davis chipped in 52 assists.
The Running Bulldogs (6-10, 0-1 BSC) were led by Brianna Starr with 17 kills, while Erin Anderson had 14 kills. Anna Pashkova had a team-high 18 digs. Heather Feldman had 51 assists and 12 digs.
“This was a great match and both teams really played hard,” stated Bulldog coach Frederico Santos. “We were able to get some big points at crucial times throughout the match. Gardner-Webb really played well. They’re a well-coached team.”
The Bulldogs led from start to finish in the first set and won 25-20. Lakatos led the Asheville offense with six kills, while four other players had two kills each. Gardner-Webb hurt itself with eight attack errors and hit just .048 in the opening set, compared to the Bulldogs’ .314 mark. Wells had eight digs in the first set.
In the second set, each team took turns making runs as there were 12 ties and seven lead changes. Tied at 20-20, Asheville made the last run to take control of the match with a 25-22 win. The Bulldogs got some key blocks from Moore and two late kills from Lakatos to take a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.
Gardner-Webb was led by Starr in the second set as she recorded five kills. Lakatos led the Bulldogs with six kills in the set. The home team hit .308 in the set, while GWU hit .222.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs rallied in the third set. They led for most of the set but could never put Asheville away. Starr had six kills in the third set and her kill at set point kept the visitors alive at 26-24. GWU scored the final two points of the set.
In the fourth set, the Bulldogs led the whole way and led by as many as six points on two occasions. The Runnin’ Bulldogs had eight hitting errors in the set. Asheville led 24-20 but GWU rallied. The visitors got three straight kills to cut the lead to 24-23.
After a Bulldog timeout, Asheville got the ball to Meredith Foster who delivered the winning point on a kill. Foster finished with nine kills and hit .421 for the match and contributed three blocks.
UNC Asheville stays at home and will host USC Upstate Tuesday night at Justice Center starting at 7 p.m. Gardner-Webb travels to South Carolina State for a non-conference match-up, also starting at 7 p.m.