Bryan Volleyball battles against Appalachian division leader
October 13, 2017
Waleska, GA — The Reinhardt University Volleyball squad has only seen one loss at home this year, and the Bryan College Lions put the Eagles to the test Saturday evening as they clawed their way to a second set win 28-26 and close fourth set 25-23 before Reinhardt soared away with the 3-1 victory. The win improved the Eagles to a notable 9-1 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play and 18-4 overall, making Reinhardt the South Division leader in the AAC rankings as well as control the best winning percentage among any other conference school (overall .818 on the season). Bryan moved their overall record to 5-15 and conference record to 4-6.
The Lions kept close distance as the first set began, allowing just two points of separation at 10-8, but the Eagles slowly built onto their lead. Eventually Reinhardt claimed a comfortable double-digit advantage at 22-12 before sealing the first set 25-16.
Just as the Lions have done numerous times this year, they have proved they are capable of competing with the best and showing determination from their come-from-behind style. The Eagles led 13-10 in set number two, but Bryan countered with a 6-0 run to gain a 16-13 advantage. Reinhardt wouldn’t allow the Lions to keep momentum as the set totaled 17 ties due to the back-and-forth stretch down to the last point. Leveled 23-23, Sydney Pierce assisted Brooke Stowell for a hammering kill, leaving Bryan with just one point to earn. Unfortunately, the Eagles responded to tie the score 24-24. Another put-away by Reinhardt gave them a 25-24 advantage, but the Lions kept the pressure coming and forced the Eagles into an error, evening the count 25-25. Reinhardt continued with another error to put Bryan out in front 26-25, but a successful kill by the Eagles tied the score once again 26-26. An attack error by Reinhardt gave Bryan winning position at 27-26, and the Lions took advantage of the opportunity with Veronica Salas setting Mariah Dunlop for the set-ending kill, tying the match 1-1.
Kills by Hope Burnett, Emalie Hicks, and Dunlop were the first three points awarded to Bryan as the third set unfolded, trailing just one point behind Reinhardt 4-3. The Eagles took flight for a 14-4 run, leaving the Lions behind 18-7. Bryan managed to slow the pace of Reinhardt, but the rally came too late as the home team went ahead 2-1 with a third set final 25-16.
It was a quiet beginning for the Lions in the fourth set as they fell behind 4-1 and then 11-5. The Eagles had created a reasonable advantage but forgot how Bryan had battled back in the second set. A few key stops and dominating plays at the net from the Lions changed the tone of the frame as they chipped away at the deficit. There was only a two-point difference between Bryan and Reinhardt late at 22-20. A pair of kills by the Eagles left them in search of one more point, but the Lions went on to notch point number 23. After forcing extra play in set number two, it looked like Bryan might get the chance to in the fourth set but one last kill by Reinhardt ended the set 25-23 and match 3-1.
Owens and Dunlop led the Lions with 10 kills apiece and were followed by Hicks and Stowell who saw seven kills each. Bryan’s leader in assists was Pierce with 17, trailed by Salas’ 16. 34 digs compiled by Kristen Parrish was the best of any player on the court. Megan Malone had the Lion’s second highest amount of digs with 11, and Salas also reached double-digits with 10 digs. The block count went Bryan’s way 7-4, but the kill count and attack percentage went to Reinhardt 64-39 (.205, .096).
Bryan finishes out their AAC road play with a game against the Rams of Bluefield College (Va.) on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6:30pm.
Follow the Bryan Lions Women’s Volleyball team on Twitter @BryanVolleyball, Instagram @bclionsvolleyball, and Facebook @bryancollegevolleyball.