RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith Avenging Angels defeated Division II Converse College 3-1 in a non-conference pairing Tuesday to close out the regular season. Meredith plays USA South foe Maryville in Friday's quarterfinal round of the USA South volleyball tournament in Martinsville.
Meredith played even with the Valkries in the opening action of the first frame until Converse unloaded on a pair of kills and an ace to edge past Meredith 10-6.
Meredith held a small lead until the Valkries tied the score with three unanswered points. Emily Hendricks and Molly Markley landed back-to-back blows to regain control. The teams evened the score on three more occasions before Meredith clinched the set 25-23.
Converse jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the second stanza and pushed that advantage to a dozen with the help of five miscues from the Angels. MC's freshman right side April Hausler drove down a pair of blasts as the Valkries cruised to a 25-11 win to even the match.
Head Coach Fiona Barkley's team regrouped after the chilling loss to settle into a 4-1 lead in the opening rally. Converse claimed four of the next five balls to slip past Meredith by one when senior Cori Spade unloaded consecutive winners. Markley teamed up with Callie McDonald for a stuff before knocking down three kills to drive Meredith to 12-6 advantage.
A flurry of missteps from the Avenging Angels let Converse slip back to within three when Spade smacked down a pair of kills to end the run. Markley landed a pair of blows on the way to a 25-18 victory capped off by a blast from Hendricks.
Meredith traded points with the Valkries with Converse holding a slight advantage at 7-6. Spade served the Avenging Angels to three consecutive points, and Hendricks landed back-to-back blasts to extend the Meredith lead.
CC earned three quick points when a pair of swings from Hausler and Markley served up by junior setter Clarke Glendenning pushed Meredith back up by four.
Spade landed a pair of kills and capped off the 7-0 run with two winners from the service line. McDonald sealed the deal on an assist from Baughman for a 25-16 set win for the match.
Markley led all with an impressive 14 kills in just 23 attempts. Spade and Hendricks combined for another 23. Molly Bunton kept the team on the attack digging up 19 balls, and Baughman and Glendenning dished 39 assists in the win.
Converse leaders Katie Butler and Michaela Evers posted 13 and 11 kills, respectively, with Kandace Griffin assisting on 34 winners. Three Valkrie defenders tallied double-digit digs on the night.
The Meredith-Maryville quarterfinal match is slated for a 7 p.m. start behind the other three round-one pairings. The USA South tournament begins at 1 p.m. Friday, November 2, at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia, with No. 8 Methodist facing league leader Chrisopher Newport. Link here for tournament details.