The UNC Asheville women’s volleyball team returned to the Justice Center this weekend, earning two important Big South Conference victories and their fourth straight win.
The Bulldogs took on Campbell University Friday night and High Point University Saturday afternoon. They defeated Campbell for the first time since 1993 in four sets; 25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16.
Holly Shelton and Cindi Miller lead the Bulldogs with 13 kills each. Setter Hallie Morse also had a great match. She had 20 digs, 41 assists and five kills.
“I love playing in the Big South and although I am sad that it is my final opportunity to do so, I am happy to be a part of trying to add to our team’s success and also our school’s success,” Morse said.
The Bulldogs defense also had 18 digs from Alex Stewart, who is second in the Big South in digs, and 11 from Rachel Wells.
“Alex and Rachel are very important contributors to our team,” Morse said. “They are a big part of what keeps our team running smoothly. They had great matches this weekend.”
Meredith Foster added eight kills and five blocks, while Anna Moore finished with 11 kills and three blocks. As a team the Bulldogs recorded 10 blocks in the match.
“Along with working hard in practice, we’ve been doing a lot of extra work with blocking. Blocking is one of those skills that you really hate to work on because its so hard, but you can’t argue with the results,” Foster said.
The Bulldogs converted off of 10 of the Camels hitting errors in the first set to earn a 25-17 win. They hit .188 in the opening set and had four kills from Miller, who is now leading the Big South in kills with 3.59 per set.
“I’m just glad to be helping my team out and getting the kills I need,” Miller said. “Leading the conference is an honor and a complete reflection of the pass and set that precedes my kills.”
Campbell controlled the second set, winning 25-19. Jamie Dorfman, third in the Big South in service aces, started off the third set well with two service aces giving them a 4-1 lead. The lead was back and forth before the Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run closing the game 25-20.
In the fourth set Campbell maintained a two point lead most of the match until they earned three straight points, two off of Shelton kills, building a 21-16 lead. Then two kills from Foster plus a solo block ended the match 25-16.
Saturday, the Bulldogs defeated the defending Big South Champions High Point in three sets, 26-24, 25-29 and 25-19.
Miller led the Bulldogs with nine kills and 12 digs. This victory gave them their fourth straight win. Foster, Shelton and Moore finished with eight kills each. Foster hit .350 for the match, while Moore added four blocks and three service aces.
“Our conference is very balanced this year and anyone could win it. We played very well this weekend. Our consistency had been a struggle early in the season, but is now coming together,” Miller said.
The Bulldogs defense was great once again, receiving 14 digs from Stewart and 13 from Wells this match.
“It was a couple of great wins for us this weekend versus some good competition. We are starting to come together and we are putting our practices to good use in the games,” Morse said. “We have been taking practices very seriously. Coach Santos makes sure to instill this in us. We practice hard so that we improve each day.”
The Bulldogs travel to Rock Hill, S.C. Friday night to take on Winthrop at 7 p.m.