SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Mars Hill volleyball team (4-3, 1-0 SAC) earned a split after day one of the Converse Invitational falling in three sets to Alabama-Huntsville and downing North Greenville in game two by the same score.
GAME ONE- UAH 3, MHU 0
Mars Hill was downed in three sets to the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville in their first game of the Converse Invitational Friday morning. Sally Anne Johnson and Maddie Spurgeon each had a team-high six kills.
Long point streaks for the Chargers was a theme throughout the contest. To open the first set, Alabama-Huntsville reeled off 10 straight points and would take 13 of the first 14 on the day. Mars Hill would answer late with a rally of their own. Trailing 21-9, the Lions would take eight of the next 12 points, but the large deficit was too much to overcome as the Chargers took set one.
With the game tied at seven in the second set, the Chargers would take 12 consecutive points off of the serve of Abby Brooks to once again put the Lions down by double digits. However, in similar fashion to the first set, Mars Hill would take the majority of points down the stretch (10-of-16), but the large UAH lead once again proved vital.
The middle of the third stanza saw a similar scenario where the Chargers were able to string long streaks togetherand take the set by eight points.
Alabama-Huntsville's Isabelle Barnes led all players with 10 kills and four blocks. Brooks added eight kills and 11 digs.
GAME TWO- MHU 3, NGU 0
The Lions roared back with a dominating 3-0 win to earn the split versus North Greenville. Elizabeth Kaeser posted a team-high eight kills.
In a reverse from game one, Mars Hill jumped out to an early lead and was able to maintain throughout the first set, never trailing for the duration of the opening frame. The Lions closed out the first on 10-1 run.
Once again rallying late in the set, Mars Hill stormed from behind to take a late lead that would eventually lead to taking a 2-0 advantage in the contest. The Lions, unlike the first set, trailed the whole time in second until the 15-20 mark. Mars Hill battled tough and won nine of the last 12 points to go up by two sets.
The third set saw a Lions' team in similar form as the first, executing on their attacks and taking advantage of North Greenville errors. The Lions hit .222 in the third frame with seven kills and one error on 27 attempts. A kill from Sarah Goddard, her fifth of the game, sealed the victory for Mars Hill.
Katie McManaway led the Crusader offense with nine kills. Sara Miller and Eaden Shockley combined for 27 assists on the contest.
Goddard, along with Sally Anne Johnson, each had five kills for Mars Hill. Ully Martins once again led all players with 22 digs and currently leads the South Atlantic Conference in that category with 159 on the year.
Mars Hill wraps up the Converse Invitational on Saturday, September 8 when they take on Valdosta State and Converse. The action for Mars Hill begins at 12:30 p.m. and they will conclude play against the Valkyries with a start time of 6:30 p.m.