Red Hawks win four-set thriller against Pioneers

Red Hawks win four-set thriller against Pioneers

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Rebounding from early struggles in the first set against host Spartanburg Methodist, the Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team regrouped and came together, winning the next three sets for a 3-1 road victory Tuesday night.

CVCC head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson was pleased with the growth she saw from her squad.

"It was a slow start," she said. "I'm not really sure what happened at the beginning. We did have a few different pieces in our rotation. That might have been part of it, but they just kind of had to figure out that they were okay and to play confidently. I feel like in the first set they were waiting for each other to finish the play. By the end (of the match), they just stepped up, took on some leadership and each contributed what they were supposed to do. It was nice seeing them come together and finish strong."

Leslie Leonard paced CVCC (4-3) in the match with 10 kills and four blocks (one solo), while Karsyn Mundy and Sabrina Pinard added nine kills apiece.

Defensively, Catawba Valley's Emily Williams tallied a team-high 31 digs, and Red Hawk freshman Adair Melton made a team-best 13 assists.

The Pioneers claimed a back-and-forth first set by a 25-20 score before CVCC powered back with close wins in sets two and three — 25-21 and 25-22.

Tied 10-10 in the fourth set, CVCC won 15 of the final 22 points to claim its road victory.

"I am really excited, especially there at the end," Hudson said. "I think they are starting to realize what they can do as a team. That's nice. At the beginning, they were playing timid and scared. By the end, they were playing confidently. It showed on the court."

The Red Hawks return to action on Thursday with a Region X match up against Surry Community College before traveling to Virginia Beach, Va. on Friday and Saturday for a two-day tournament at Bryant & Stratton College.

Hudson believes Tuesday's win is a huge boost for her team heading into its stretch of matches at the end of this week.

"I think it's going to give them a lot of confidence," she said. "They played scared at the beginning, and they were kind of unsure of everything. It'll be nice going into our next match knowing that we pulled out a tough one and we were able to finish. It'll just give them kind of the momentum we need to push through this weekend."