Short-handed Red Hawks battle to a win at Owens Invitational

HICKORY, N.C. – Still fighting through several key injuries that have marred the early part of its season, the fourth-ranked Catawba Valley Community College volleyball program earned a victory during this past weekend's Owens Invitational in Perrysburg, Ohio.

The Red Hawks defeated 19th-ranked Muskegon Community College 3-1 during the first day of the tournament on Friday.

Adair Melton led CVCC in its win with 12 kills, while Sabrina Pinard and Mallory Bailey added 11 kills each. Defensively, the Red Hawks' Emily Williams made a team-high 26 digs against the Jayhawks, while Bailey recorded a team-best six blocks.

The weekend tournament didn't come without its share of troubles for CVCC, which lost 3-0 to the top-ranked team NJCAA Division II in the country – defending national champion Parkland College.

The Red Hawks also dropped competitive contests against two other ranked teams in No. 13 Grand Rapids Community College and No. 16 Illinois Central College.

Despite the losses and being short-handed, CVCC head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson was proud of how her team battled. 

"I'm really proud of how our team played this past weekend." Hudson said. "We had several players out of position because of our extensive injury list right now, and they stepped up to do great things against amazing competition. Yes, there are things we need to work on, but they played together well."

CVCC returns to the volleyball court on Wednesday with a road match at USC Salkehatchie before playing this weekend in the Pasco-Hernando State College Bobcat Invitational tournament in Dale City, Fla.

"We will travel to Pasco-Hernando this weekend, and I'm looking forward to the tournament," Hudson said. "It's another weekend of strong competition, and that's what we need to continue to grow as a team. Hopefully we will have Leslie (Leonard) back in the middle position for the tournament, but if not, I know our healthy players will keep working hard."