WINGATE, N.C. — The Newberry College volleyball team (20-12) was dropped in five sets in a South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Championship semifinal by Lincoln Memorial (25-7) 3-2 (29-27, 19-25, 27-25, 19-25, 13-15) Friday afternoon at Cuddy Arena on the campus of Wingate University.
Newberry’s 20 wins marks the most since 19 in the 2012 season. Newberry also set a new school record in conference wins with 16 SAC victories.
Logan Hayward notched a new career-high with 24 kills. She also accumulated 19 digs for a double-double. Maggie Marsh also had a double-double with 52 assists and 26 digs. Kensley Jordan had a team-high 30 digs. Toni-Anne Whitlow collected 16 digs off the bench and Madison Darby-McClure chipped in 12 kills and four block assists.
Newberry led 10-8 in the first set after a kill by Alexis Bryant. Lincoln Memorial then tied the frame at 16-16. Newberry trailed 20-18 and was forced to take a timeout. LMU had set point before Newberry rallied to tie the set at 24-24. Newberry fought off set point five times before Hayward tallied her seventh kill of the set to give the Wolves a 29-27 set one victory.
Lincoln Memorial ran out to a 9-4 lead in the second set. The Lady Railsplitters continued to lead 19-12 before winning set number two by a score of 25-19. Both teams struggled on the attack as there were a combined 18 errors in the set. Hayward paced Newberry with five kills.
Natalie Willis notched two straight service aces to give Newberry a 5-3 lead in set three. Sidra Triplett’s kill gave Newberry a 9-7 advantage. A kill by Hayward gave the Wolves a 13-10 lead forcing LMU to take a timeout. Newberry continued to lead 21-16 to force another LMU timeout. Lincoln Memorial used a 7-2 run to tie the set at 23-23. The set was tied two more times before Newberry was victorious 27-25. Hayward notched seven kills in the frame.
The fourth set was back and forth before LMU took a 12-10 lead. Lincoln Memorial extended its lead to 18-16 forcing the Wolves to take a timeout. The Lady Railsplitters won set four 25-19 to force a fifth set. Newberry committed nine errors in the set.
Neither team could gain any separation early in the fifth set. LMU led 9-6 before Newberry called timeout. The Lady Railsplitters extended their lead to 12-9, forcing another Newberry timeout. Newberry pulled within 14-13 before a kill by Abby Cash gave LMU the 15-13 set and match victory.
Samantha Cash led Lincoln Memorial with 16 kills. Abby Cash dished out 54 assists and Erica Whiteaker collected a match-high 45 digs. LMU advances to Saturday’s SAC Volleyball Championship game against the winner of No. 1 Wingate or No. 4 Queens.