Newberry faces Lincoln Memorial in SAC title semifinal

NEWBERRY — The Newberry College volleyball team (20-11) looks to advance to the final round of the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Championship for the first time in school history as the third-seeded Wolves square off in the semifinals against second-seeded Lincoln Memorial (24-7) Friday at 4 p.m. at Cuddy Arena in Wingate, N.C.

The winner will play either No. 1 Wingate or No. 4 Queens in the SAC Championship final at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

No. 3 Newberry swept No. 6 Catawba 3-0 (27-25, 25-15, 25-22) Tuesday night in the SAC Quarterfinals at Eleazer Arena. Logan Hayward registered a double-double of 11 kills and 11 digs. Madison Darby-McClure added nine kills, while Alexis Bryant chipped in eight. Maggie Marsh posted a double-double of 35 assists and 11 digs. Natalie Willis collected 12 digs.

The South Atlantic Conference announced the 2016 volleyball award winners on Wednesday afternoon and four Newberry players received all-SAC honors. Hayward was named first team all-SAC and Darby-McClure was selected to the second team. Marsh received honorable mention and Toni-Anne Whitlow earned a spot on the All-Freshman team.

Newberry is in the semifinals for the first time since the 2012 season where they were swept 3-0 by Wingate. The Wolves have never made a SAC Volleyball Championship Final. Newberry is 9-1 over its last 10 matches and 16-3 since being swept by Wingate on Sept. 20. The Wolves are ranked second in the SAC in digs per set as a team with 18.96.

Jamie Jehne (.302) and Samantha Cash (.301) are third and fifth in hitting percentage in the SAC, respectively. Kiera Holland leads Lincoln Memorial with 2.99 kills per set.

LMU leads the all-time series 17-8, but the two teams have split regular season meetings since 2011. Newberry was defeated by LMU in the quarterfinals of the SAC Championship in 2009.

The Lady Railsplitters swept Newberry at Eleazer Arena on Sept. 16, but Newberry won a five-set thriller on Oct. 21. Hayward notched a double-double with a match-high 20 kills and 10 digs. Hayward’s 20 kills mark the highest total by a Newberry player this season. Darby-McClure tallied 14 kills and Whitlow recorded 11 off of the bench. Sidra Triplett notched 10 kills.

This release was provided by Newberry College.

This release was provided by Newberry College.

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