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Volleyball Battles for Three-Set Comeback to Keep Streak Alive

MCVB celebrates on the court

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- After a 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-9) sweep over Mary Baldwin, the Meredith College volleyball Angels pulled out a three-set comeback to defeat Methodist 3-2 (19-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-11). The pair of wins mark the 13th and 14th consecutive for MCVB, all in USA South action.

Game 1
The Avenging Angels made quick work of the Fighting Squirrels in the second of today's conference tri-match at host Methodist University. Meredith jumped out to a quick nine-point lead with help from five service aces, four from Lauren Grodi and one from Caroline Corey. MCVB extended that lead to 11 with kills from Kenzie Moore and Ally Copenhaver to go along with a solo stuff from Moore. Bailey Lucas set up Haley Reeg for a pair of blasts from the middle and served up back-to-back service winners to drive the Angels to 1-0 match advantage.

Meredith's serve continued to stifle Baldwin as Samantha Smith and Cathy Delano launched five winners early in the second frame. MBU closed the gap to six midway through the set but the Angels finished off without issue.

The Avenging Angels supressed any offensive push from Mary Baldwin during the third frame, holding the Squirrels to just nine points for the straight-set victory.

Reeg led the match with eight kills, and Copenhaver finished with five. Emily Skoglund led the Angels with 16 digs, and Avery Bowman dished out a match-high 13 assists.

Game 2
The quick win led to a sluggish start versus the host Monarchs in the final contest of the day. Meredith led early by five, but MU assumed the lead on a 7-1 rally midway through the first frame. The set remained close with the score tied on six occasions through a 20-19 Methodist lead, but MU scored the last five points to put away MCVB for a 1-0 advantage.

Methodist put away MCVB with a decisive 12-point advantage in the second frame to give the Angels their first 2-0 deficit this season. And the Monarchs continued to hold down Meredith through a 12-6 early set-three lead.

The Angels put away the next three points, but MU's Brittany Ter Meer ended the run early. Delano and Bowman stuffed Ter Meer on the next play, but the hosts held onto the advantage.

The scale began to tip in favor of Meredith on a dual stuff from Reeg and Elisabeth Smith as Meredith still trailed by three at 16-13. An MU miss followed by a blast from Reeg forced a Monarch timeout. The break did not phase Meredith, as the Avenging Angels pressed on with a kill from Corey to tie the set at 16s. Methodist scored two more points before the Angels took over the frame scoring eight straight to keep the match alive.

The battle remained close in the fourth, but Meredith pulled ahead 7-4 to create a little breathing room. But MU evened the set at 10s and continued to press for a 14-13 set lead. Bowman found Corey on the wing for a kill at 14-14 and again at 16-15 as MCVB regained the lead. Corey put down a second and Delano followed with a third consecutive winner as Meredith began to feel another momentum shift in their favor. Reeg and E. Smith finished off the frame with a pair of kills to send the match into a fifth set.

MCVB held a 12-5 advantage late in the fifth but allowed the Monarchs to get back into the game on a 6-2 rally down the stretch. But the effort fell short, and Meredith closed out the match for their 14th consecutive win.

Corey led the match with 19 kills, adding 15 digs in her 11th double-double on the season. Delano posted 10 kills, hitting .421 on the match, and Reeg recorded nine with three blocks. Bowman led MCVB with 34 assists, and Lauren Phillips led all with 28 digs on the day.

With the end of the regular season drawing near, Meredith must travel to Salem Tuesday night and finish off the schedule at William Peace Thursday. The Angels took down both teams 3-0 during their first match-ups earlier this season. MCVB has secured at least a second seed in the USA South East Division and will host early round tournament action Tuesday, Oct. 30. Stay tuned for final pairings announced Sunday once all regular season matches conclude.