RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith College (4-5) volleyball team slipped past the Knights of St. Andrews University (4-3) 33-31 in set three to take a 2-1 match lead in tonight's home opener. Outside hitter Emily Hendricks led the charge in the fourth set to cruise past SAU 25-13 to complete the win.
The Knights opened the match with a 25-17 set-one win with .417 hitting to Meredith's .280 and carried the momentum into the second frame.
The Avenging Angels chipped away at an early 5-1 deficit and turned the tide on a block by Katelyn Rall and Jasmine Aguinaldo. Rall partnered with Molly Markley for another block and landed a kill on the next point to give MC a one-point advantage at 8-7.
A misstep from Meredith allowed St. Andrews to tie the game at nine's, but the Avenging Angels managed to stay one step ahead of the visitors just long enough to claim a 25-21 to tie the match 1-1.
The win gave Meredith life and the Avenging Angels pulled out to an early six-point lead at 8-2 in the third stanza. The Knight's power hitter Tessa Smith, who notched 15 kills on the night, landed one to end the Meredith run.
Rookie outside Karlie Long connected twice in the next series to keep SAU at bay.
Meredith continued to pressure the Knight's but without an answer to Smith, St. Andrews remained close.
Clarke Glendenning dished out back-to-back assists to Hendricks and Markley as Meredith held onto a 20-14 advantage.
On the next play SAU's Kendelyn Wheaton crushed a ball to regain control with Meredith at their first set-point of 24-20. Wheaton stepped back to the service line after the kill and led her team on a 4-0 run to edge past Meredith 25-24.
The teams tied on six occasions and the lead changed seven times before the Avenging Angels put two points together for a 33-31 third-set win.
The loss proved devastating to the Knights who cleared the way for a 25-13 Meredith finish in the fourth.
Long led all with 18 kills, and Hendricks added 17. Markley tallied 14 kills and three blocks, and libero Emery McGee notched 13 digs and seven assists. Setters Hayes and Glendenning combined for 47 assists in the win.
The Avenging Angels hit the road for a five-game series before finding their way back to Weatherspoon on September 28 for a USA South Conference quad-match with Greensboro, Methodist and Mary Baldwin. Meredith plays at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day.