FLORENCE — Newberry started the Francis Marion Invitational on the right foot, defeating UNC Pembroke while falling to host Francis Marion in Friday’s action.
The Wolves (4-3, 0-1 SAC) defeated UNC Pembroke in four sets while falling to Francis Marion in four sets. Newberry posted scores of 25-11, 13-25,25-19 and 25-20 in the early afternoon-opener while posting close sets of 24-26, 25-18, 22-25 and 18-25 in the nightcap.
The Wolves had three players hit double-digit kills on the day with Toni-Anne Whitlow leading the way with 22 total kills. Whitlow had 11 digs to two errors on 26 attempts against UNC Pembroke with a hitting percentage of .308. Whitlow ended the days action with 11 kills to one error on 34 attempts, hitting .294. Vanessa Blas and Zoe Dinkins totaled 20 digs apiece in the days action. Blas added 22 digs while Dinkins had nine blocks (one solo) on the day.
Kensley Jordan had a stellar game on the defensive end, finishing with 45 digs including a season-high 26 digs against Francis Marion. Mary Siebert chipped in with 27 digs on the day.
Olivia Kozemko had a great day, assisting on 47 kills. Taylor Garrison added 32 assists in the double-header.
The Wolves found themselves down early in the first set against the Patriots before rallying to be down 23-22 as Dinkins recorded a kill and Dinkins and Angela Gore blocked an attack to gain momentum.
Though they did not capture the first set, the Wolves were on the prowl in the second set, opening u with a 6-2 lead. Francis Marion made it a 11-10 set before Newberry exploded, going on a 7-1 run fueled by two kills from Gore and two kills from Whitlow. The Wolves would carry the momentum to even the set series at 1-1.
The Patriots changed the script in the third set, going up 20-15. The Wolves responded, closing the deficit to one making it 23-22 off great defense by Sidra Triplett who assisted on two blocks while Blas and Logan Richardson having one block assist apiece.