RALEIGH, N.C. — Meredith College battled from behind to finish off the visiting Averett Cougars 3-2 (25-19, 20-25, 21-25, 25-16, 16-14). The win leaves MCVB leading the USA South East Division with nine consecutive wins.
The Angels started out strong hitting .344 as a team in the first set with just two attack errors in the game. But AU amped up their attack in the second, taking an early 7-4 lead. Trailing by nine late in the frame, Meredith began to recover with a trio of kills and a stuff from Cathy Delano and Avery Bowman. AU called for a timeout leading 23-19 and put together two more points to finish the set even at ones.
Meredith seemed to lose their footing in the third, as they struggled to receive serve and continued to falter at the net. Averett used their momentum and held a 15-9 lead midway through the frame. Lauren Grodi dished out back-to-back assists to Haley Reeg and Ally Copenhaver, as Meredith chipped away at the deficit, but AU pushed back to maintain the gap.
MCVB whistled for a break in the action, which led to a Cougar serve misstep. Emily Skoglund stepped to the line and helped the Angels to an 8-0 rally to take the lead 20-18 for the first time since point one. Averett responded with four consecutive points and the lead with help from three MCVB miscues. Meredith called for their second timeout, but AU did not falter this time, finishing off the set for a 2-1 match lead.
The Avenging Angels remained strong and regained control of the net hitting .344 on 13 kills, two errors in the fourth to force a deciding set.
Both teams struggled to gain control in the final frame, but Averett again maintained the advantage at 9-5. With an eight-match winning streak on the line, MCVB continued to battle to a 10-9 lead over the next five points. The teams exchanged the next six points to sit even at 12s with fans pitching in on both sides.
AU's McKenzie Miller landed a service ace, and Head Meredith Coach wasted no time calling her second timeout. Miller served the next one out, but the Cougar front line put down Corey's attempt from the outside to remain in the lead 14-13. Bowman set up Whitney Bolton for a kill on the right side, and Grodi entered the match to finish off for the win with points to Corey and Reeg.
Corey managed a match-high 18 kills with 10 apiece from Reeg and Copenhaver. Bolton and Elisabeth Smith landed five each, and Delano recorded three with four blocks in the middle. Bowman and Grodi combined for 38 assists, and Skoglund and Lauren Phillips recorded 28 digs together.
AU's Emily Stanley finished with a match-high 27 digs, and Brooke Aaron landed 17 kills for the Cougars.
The Avenging Angels continue the second round of conference action Saturday at Greensboro with matches versus the Pride and Pfeiffer. Next Wednesday the team celebrates senior night.