NEWBERRY - The Newberry Wolves volleyball team saw a two-set advantage disappear but played a very strong fifth set on the way to a 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 15-25, 19-25, 15-13) victory over visiting Catawba College in South Atlantic Conference action at Eleazer Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Newberry is now 9-9 overall and 3-5 in SAC play. The Wolves will close out the first half of the conference schedule at home on Tuesday against Anderson. Catawba is now 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the league.
Lauren Prachar (Fort Wayne, Ind.) hit .380 in the match with 21 kills and only two errors to go with 10 digs for a double-double, while Samantha Parrish (Angola, Ind.) had a double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs. Blair Browning (New Lexington, Ohio) passed out 50 assists and Elayni Stokes (Houston, Texas) had a team-high 18 digs.
The Wolves never trailed in the opening set and jumped on Catawba early, opening a 7-1 advantage. The visitors fought back and narrowed the deficit to a single point at 15-14, but Newberry scored 10 of the final 14 points to close out at 25-18. Parrish had five kills in the set and Prachar had four, with neither playing notching an error. Newberry hit .297 in the set with only two errors as a team and Catawba hit just .100.
The second set was tighter, with nine ties and five lead changes. From a 12-all tie, Newberry went on a 5-1 run to force Catawba to call a timeout. Newberry pushed but Catawba closed the gap to 22-20 before the Wolves’ closing 3-1 lead put the hosts up two sets to none. Newberry hit .256 with Prachar having six kills and no errors and Parrish earning three kills. Newberry also put up three blocks and held Catawba to .171 hitting.
Catawba responded after the halftime break by jumping out to an early lead which it would never relinquish. Newberry had chances to narrow the gap but could not get within three as Cat-U won the set 25-15. The guests hit .321 and Newberry hit only .061.
Catawba’s offense was on fire on the way to the fourth set win, hitting .469 to force the fifth set. Newberry hit .205 with Prachar putting away six kills and Parrish nailing down four, but small runs from Catawba late in the set made the difference.
The fifth set was a tough battle, with Catawba jumping out to an early 4-2 lead. Lisa Ross (Bowling Green, Ky.) was on serve for a five-point rally to switch the advantage to Newberry. Catawba kept at it and would not let Newberry cruise to the win, but Prachar put away the final point for the Wolves’ win. Newberry hit .286 with only one error in the final set, while Catawba had six errors.
Wolves drop 3-1 decision to Wingate
The Newberry Wolves took the first set from visiting Wingate University, but could not carry the momentum over into the following sets as the Bulldogs emerged from Eleazer Arena with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-9, 25-11, 25-14) victory Friday night.
Newberry falls to 8-9 overall and 2-5 in South Atlantic Conference play entering Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. home match against Catawba (6-7, 3-2 SAC). Wingate (12-2, 3-2 SAC) travels to Anderson (9-8, 2-5 SAC).
Parrish and Amanda Soper (Simi Valley, Calif.) led Newberry with eight kills apiece, while Stokes had a team-high 23 digs and Browning passed out 31 assists.
The first set was evenly played in the early going before a Newberry rally. From a 7-all tie, the Wolves scored 10 of the next 13 points to pull out to a 17-10 lead. The Wolves held the seven point advantage at set point, but the Bulldogs fought that off five times before Jessica King (Los Angeles, Calif.) put the set away with a kill. Lauren Prachar (Fort Wayne, Ind.) had four kills in the set, while Soper and Madison Schultz (Decatur, Ind.) each had three. Newberry hit .200 in the set, while Wingate hit .163.
Wingate responded in the second set with a huge early surge the Wolves could not recover from. Newberry scored the first two points of the set before the Bulldogs went on an 11-1 rally to go up 14-3. The Wolves could not get their deficit back under eight points and Wingate’s .235 hitting percentage led the ‘Dogs to a 25-9 set win. Newberry hit minus-.135.
Two big runs in the third set put Wingate in the lead. From a 3-all tie, the Bulldogs scored eight straight and would eventually lead by as many as 14 points in the set. Wingate was extremely efficient in the set, hitting .400 while Newberry hit .083, with four players getting two kills each.
Wingate put up four blocks in the final set, as Newberry could not quite rally from deficits. The Wolves fell behind and when an opportunity to close the gap presented itself, Wingate put it away each time. Newberry hit minus-.043 in the set to Wingate’s .237. The Bulldogs had a total of 15 blocks in the match.