ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Anna Moore and Meredith Foster combined for 23 kills as UNC Asheville downed Winthrop 3-1 in Big South Conference volleyball action Friday night at Justice Center. The Bulldogs won the match 25-20, 19-25, 31-29, 25-15.
Asheville ended a two-game losing streak with the win and improved its record to 11-8, 2-2 in the Big South Conference. The Lady Eagles fell to 10-8 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Moore had 12 kills and six blocks, while Foster added 11 kills and five blocks for the Blue & White. Rachel Wells led the defense with 21 digs. Freshman Shelby Erickson added nine kills. Christine Lakatos finished with eight kills, 12 digs and four blocks.
Winthrop was led by Irene Ojukwu with a match-high 18 kills. She also had a team-high five blocks. Alina Sophizhuk added 13 kills. Maria Volstad had 21 digs and two service aces. Jessica Vivic contributed 14 digs.
“I’m really proud of us for winning this match against a very well-coached Winthrop squad,” commented Bulldog coach Frederico Santos. “We really battled hard and did a great job coming back in the third set to win and kept the momentum going in the fourth set. This is a big win for us tonight.”
The key set was third. Asheville won the first set 25-20 before Winthrop roared back to win the second set 25-19 to even the match.
The Eagles kept the momentum going in the third set. They dominated early and built a 16-8 lead and then led 20-13 behind Ojukwu and Sopizhuk.
Asheville began to rally. Two kills from Erickson and an attack error from the visitors cut the lead to 20-16. Rachel Lenz had a kill for the Eagles to push the lead back to 21-16.
The home team surged again as Asheville went on a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 22-21. Four kills from four different players helped the Bulldogs get close.
But Asheville would make two straight ball-handling errors to allow Winthrop to get to set point at 24-21.
Asheville then roared back with four straight points behind the serving of Lakatos to lead 25-24.
The teams went back and fourth before the Bulldogs went on one more run at 29-29. Moore delivered a kill to put Asheville in front 30-29. And then the Blue & White got a block from Foster and Lakatos to give the Bulldogs the third set and 2-1 lead.
The home team kept the momentum in the fourth set. Asheville got 12 kills, four from Moore and coasted to the win with a 25-15 victory. The visitors hurt themselves with 11 attack errors in the set.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. Asheville hosts Presbyterian College at Justice Center starting at 4 p.m. Winthrop travels to Gardner-Webb at 2 p.m.