MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill volleyball team (7-4, 1-2 SAC) fell in a dramatic five-set contest to Lenoir-Rhyne (8-3, 2-2 SAC) in Stanford Arena Tuesday night. Elizabeth Kaeser led the Lions with 17 kills and four aces.
After taking the fourth set to send the game into a fifth and final frame, the Lions were unable to find their footing in the set. Mars Hill's lone lead in the fifth came when the contest was 2-1, but four straight points provided a cushion for the Bears to take the lead and not look back. In the set, Lenoir-Rhyne clicked on offense, hitting .333 compared to the Lions' -.087. A kill from Angelica Arroyo, her 13th of the contest, snapped the Lions' four game winning streak.
The Bears took the first set in a similar fashion, outhitting the Lions .140 to .021 to take the first frame by a score of 25-22. Hannah Houston led all players in the stanza with four kills on 10 attempts with no errors. Sally Anne Johnson and Maddie Spurgeon each had three kills.
Mars Hill answered in the second set, tying the game at one all with a 25-20 score. The Lions hit a team-high .263 in the frame with Kaeser registering four of her game-high 17 kills. Sara Pasour had six assists and five digs.
Lenoir-Rhyne volleyed back by taking the third set, 25-19, hitting .278 as Houston led the charge with four kills. At the 16-15 mark, the Lions conceded eight of the final 12 points with the Bears amassing three aces in that span.
Ever resilient, the Lions roared back to take the fourth set, 25-18 and force the deciding fifth set. Mars Hill opened the set on a 10-4 run, including a streak of four straight points off of the serve of Sarah Goddard. Kaeser knocked down five kills while Pasour racked up another eight assists.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Jessica Funk led all players with 48 assists on the night. The Bears had 55 total. Ashley Hawkins paced the Bears' defense with a game-high 27 digs. Houston ended the contest with 17 kills and 17 digs for a double-double.
Kaeser also registered a double-double with her 16 digs, second best on the team for the night. Ully Martins had 23 digs, including some diving, one-handed saves in the second and fourth sets. Johnson and Spurgeon finished the game with 12 kills each while Johnson led all Lions with a .267 hitting percentage.
Mars Hill returns to Stanford Arena on Friday, September 21 with a 7 p.m. match against Queens.