ANDERSON — The Newberry Wolves’ volleyball team and Samantha Parrish rewrote the College’s record books Friday night with a 3-1 (26-24, 17-25, 26-24, 25-16) win over the Anderson Trojans in the Abney Athletic Center.
With the victory, Newberry closes the regular season with a 17-13 overall record and 10-8 mark in the South Atlantic Conference. The 2012 Wolves become the first volleyball squad to have a winning record in SAC play since the College joined the league in 1997. The 10 conference wins is also a school record. The Wolves will be either the fifth or sixth seed in next weekend’s Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament and fill find out their final position when the rest of the conference completes the regular season Saturday.
The Wolves earned the win behind 20 kills and 23 digs from Parrish (Angola, Ind.). With that performance, Parrish became the College’s all-time leader in kills with 1,197 in her career, eclipsing Lorena Maia’s 1,180. She also upped her season kill total to 426, besting Priscila Sales’ 418 kills in 2008.
“A winning conference record was a team goal from day one and I’m very proud of the team for making that goal come true,” Newberry head coach Todd Hay. “Everyone knew what was at stake tonight and battled hard on every point.
“I’m also very happy for Samantha. She has been such a steady performer on the court all year. Congratulations to her and her teammates who played a major role in helping her break those records tonight.”
Also contributing to Newberry’s win Friday were double-doubles from Lauren Prachar (Fort Wayne, Ind.) with 16 kills and 16 digs and Blair Browning (New Lexington, Ohio) with 52 assists and 14 digs. Elayni Stokes (Houston, Texas) had 20 digs and Madison Schultz (Decatur, Ind.) had nine kills as well.
In the opening set, the Wolves had to overcome a slow start to take the lead. After trailing at 10-5, Newberry fought back to tie the set at 13-all on a Prachar kill. Parrish’s fourth kill of the night tied the set at 18-all and gave her the career record. Newberry was able to push and get to set point at 24-22, but the Trojans were able to tie it up before a Parrish kill and an Anderson attack error handed Newberry the 26-24 set win. Parrish had six kills in the set, while Jessica King (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Schultz each had three kills without an error. Newberry hit .157 to Anderson’s .021.
The Trojans tied the match up in the second set after getting out to an early lead. Newberry managed to narrow it down to 12-10, but four straight Anderson points put the hosts in an uncatchable position. Anderson hit .318 in the set, while Newberry hit only .111. Parrish had five kills and Prachar had four in the set.
Another tight battle went the Wolves’ way in the third set. There were 14 ties and eight lead changes before Newberry emerged with a two sets to one lead. From an 18-all tie, Newberry scored four straight points on King’s serve. The Trojans scored five straight points to take the lead at 23-22 and held set point at 24-23, but two straight kills from Amanda Soper (Simi Valley, Calif.) and a kill from Prachar gave Newberry the set win. Newberry hit .192 in the set compared to Anderson’s .140, with Parrish putting away six kills and Prachar had five. Parrish’s kill to give Newberry a 2-1 lead also gave her the season kills mark.
Newberry stormed away from the Trojans in the fourth set to claim the record-setting victory. After a tie at 11-all, the Wolves scored seven of the next nine points to take an 18-13 lead. An Anderson point broke up a long run before Newberry scored five straight to get to 23-14 and put the match away on a Parrish kill and a block from Browning and Schultz. Prachar had five errorless kills in the set, with Parrish and Schultz notching three kills each. Newberry hit .189 in the set to Anderson’s minus-.026 percentage.