ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Becca Toor had 17 kills to lead Winthrop to a 3-1 Big South Conference volleyball win over a short-handed UNC Asheville squad Saturday afternoon at Justice Center. The Eagles won the match, 25-18, 24-26, 25-18, 25-20.
The Bulldogs (10-8, 3-2 BSC) were without leading hitter Cindi Miller and libero Alex Stewart but still managed to take Big South-leading Eagles to four sets.
Asheville, playing with just seven players, was led by a season-high 15 kills from Holly Shelton. Meredith Foster contributed 12 kills, nine digs and three blocks. Anna Moore had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Rachel Wells, who played three different positions this week due to injuries on Bulldog squad, made her debut as an outside hitter. Wells had six kills and six digs on the day. Chelsie Kenly finished with six kills, as well.
Winthrop (11-6, 4-1 BSC) also had 13 kills from Carolyn Weed. Catherine Brusie had a game-high 16 digs.
"I'm very proud of how we played today," commented Asheville coach Frederico Santos. "We were missing some key players but our team came together and gave a great effort.
"I told the team before the year started to always be ready to play anywhere because you never know when you might get called upon," added Santos. "The last two matches we've had to move some people around but everyone has stepped up and played well. I'm disappointed we lost but give credit to Winthrop as it made some key points at key times. I am not disappointed with the effort because it was outstanding."
The first set was close for most of the game before a 5-0 run by the visitors gave Winthrop a 21-15 led. Toor had four kills in the opening set. The Eagles were able to win the set 25-18.
Asheville evened the match in the second set. The Bulldogs and Eagles battled throughout the set with neither team leading by more than three points. Tied at 24-24, the home team got a kill from Shelton to lead 25-24 and a hitting error by the Eagles tied the match at intermission. Asheville had 20 kills in the set.
Winthrop seized control in the third set as the Eagles used two 4-0 runs to build a big lead. Asheville had eight hitting errors in the set as the visitors won 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set, Winthrop leaped out to a quick 10-5 lead behind three kills from Weed. Asheville closed to three on two different occasions but the Eagles were able to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Stephanie Palmer, who had four service aces on the day, delivered three in the fourth set. As a team, the Eagles had 13 service aces for the match.
UNC Asheville plays next at Gardner-Webb Friday night at 7 p.m. Winthrop plays at Campbell on Friday, also at 7 p.m.