Parrish Sets Career-High On Senior Night in 3-1 loss to Bluefield
DAYTON, Tenn. – Senior defensive specialist from Decatur, Ala., Kristen Parrish, shined on Bryan College Volleyball’s Senior Night Tuesday, Oct. 24 when she eclipsed for the first time in her career the 40-dig mark, ending with 41 digs in the Appalachian Athletic Conference bout with Bluefield College (Va.). The Rams charged ahead, taking the first two sets, but the Lions made things interested by battling for set number three 25-22. It was a close fourth set until the very final points when Bluefield strung together a late run to hand Bryan the 3-1 loss, moving the Lion’s overall record to 6-20 and conference record to 5-11. The Rams locked in the No. 2 spot in the AAC North Division, improving to 18-11 overall and a notable 13-3 in conference play.
The Lions clawed their way to a quick 4-0 start to begin set number one and would go up 6-3, but the Rams answered back with a devastating 7-0 run to claim a 10-6 advantage. Bryan kept close space between them and Bluefield, eventually tying the score 17-17 and regaining the lead at 18-17 following five unanswered points. Unfortunately, the Rams were able to slow the Lion’s momentum and counter with a 4-0 run that would help Bluefield end the set. Bryan fought for three more points as the Rams captured the first set 25-21.
The Rams continued the second set right where they left off the in the first, which resulted in a 7-1 lead for the blue and red team. The Lions struggled to stop Bluefield as they continued to a double-digit advantage at 14-4. The difference proved too large as the Rams cruised to a commanding 25-15 second set for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Bryan was forced to win the third set in order to stay alive, and they did just that despite falling behind 10-5 as the frame got underway. The difference maker was an 11-1 run pieced together by the Lions that gave them the edge that wouldn’t be surrendered for the rest of the set en route to a 25-22 final in set number three.
The home team wouldn’t go down without a fight in the fourth set and was proven in a back and forth brawl that saw a total of 13 ties. Bryan was the first to see a major run in the set as they forced Bluefield to crack under pressure, causing the Rams to a service error and four consecutive attack errors to go out in front 11-9. At the midway point of the set, the score was tied 12-12, 13-13, and continued until kills by Emalie Hicks, Brooke Stowell, and Janie Smith helped the Lions turn the corner and lead 19-16. Bluefield responded with a 6-0 run, hoping to the end the match as they controlled the score 22-19. A put-away by Stowell along with a pair of attack errors committed by the Rams leveled the score once again at 22-22. Bryan was seeking to even the match, but Bluefield ended all hopes with three straight scores to seal the set 25-22 and the contest 3-1.
Stowell led all Lions in the kill’s column, registering eight of the team’s 36. Behind Stowell were Hope Burnett and Mariah Dunlop with six apiece. Anna Owens and Jessica Towe matched each other with five kills, respectively. Hicks ended the night with four. Veronica Salas dished out a team-best 21 assists, while Sidney Pierce compiled Bryan’s other 13. Parrish’s career-high is now at 41 digs following the impressive performance. The only other Lion to see double-digits was Salas who aided with 19.
Two matches remain for Bryan this season as they travel to Mid-South Conference foe Cumberland University Saturday, Oct. 28 at 11am, before hitting the road for fellow AAC challenger Montreat College (N.C.) on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 6:30pm.
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