The Pine Needle
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Volleyball Comes Back in 5 Sets

Volleyballl Comes Back in 5 Sets

By Jonathan Bym, EditorPhoto by Stefanie Smith

For the third time this season, the UNCP volleyball team was on the brink of elimination in a match before rallying back to pick up the five-set win on Oct. 11 as they defeated Columbus State at home.

UNCP used scores of 25-17, 25-14, 25-19, 26-24 and 15-8 to take its second Peach Belt Conference win of the season and improve to 11-13 overall on the season.

Junior Nicole Mathews had a game-high 21 kills and 40 digs in the game.

“Coming back in set four was critical,” she said of the comeback win.

Columbus State jumped out to a 2-1 set lead after three sets and had control of the match until the Lady Braves came in set four and fought neck-and-neck for a close 26-24 fourth set win to force the winner-take-all fifth set. The main difference, according to Mathews, was the cleaner play the Lady Braves used in the final two sets.

“In eliminating those errors in sets four and five, we were able to pull out the win,” Mathews said. 

Over the first three sets, the Lady Braves had 20 errors and accumulated 11 over the final two sets, all coming in the fourth set.

In the fifth set, UNCP broke a 4-4 tie with a 6-1 run to go up five in the final set before closing it out 15-8.

To open the game, UNCP rallied midway through the first set to cruise to the set win. After going down 5-3, UNCP fought back to tie the score at six behind two kills from Caroline Pridgen. The teams went back and forth over the next few points before going up 20-14 late.

Columbus State took back-to-back sets in the second and third sets to take control of the match.

Set two closed out with an 8-1 run from the Lady Cougars to win it 25-14.                 

After an early rally to start set three, Columbus State was able to virtually trade out points with the Black and Gold before earning the six-point set victory.

Sabrina Gonzalez had 48 assists and 11 digs and assisted on a game-high four blocks.

UNCP has three games on the road over Oct. 17 and 18 against USC Aiken, Lander and Fayetteville State.

Photo by Stefanie Smith. Caroline Pridgen flies up to strike the ball in a game earlier this season.