MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Playing for over two hours in a five-set thriller, Limestone College had to fight off a fierce comeback by Pfeiffer University in the fifth set to take a 3-2 (25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 15-7) match win in women’s volleyball action during the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas tournament on Friday night. In front of an electric crowd of over 500-plus, the Lady Saints used a six-point run in the fifth set, helping them improve to 21-14 overall, moving on to Sunday’s championship match at Lees-McRae. The Lady Falcons end their season at 21-12.
Coming out of an early timeout in the deciding set by Pfeiffer, a kill by the Lady Saints Danielle Seibert (Naperville, IL) started the six-point span that separated the visitors in the finale. With Seibert serving, a pair of Lady Falcon errors and a pair of kills by Melissa Thomas (Easley, SC) forced Pfeiffer to use their final timeout down 10-3. Lady Falcon senior Victoria Parrish (Henderson, NC) tried to bring the hosts back with a kill at 11-5, but two more kills by Chelsea Anthony (Pickens, SC) gave the Lady Saints a 15-7 set and 3-2 match win.
After Pfeiffer’s Jordan O'Bryant (Reidsville, NC) picked up the night’s first kill of the match early at 2-1, Limestone would take the lead for good on a Lady Falcon attack error and a kill by Sam Johnson (Summerville, SC) just three plays later. Miscues continued to hurt the Lady Falcons halfway through the first set as seven errors in a 14-play span put Limestone up 20-13 forcing another Pfeiffer timeout. After the break, a kill by senior Brittany Dickens (Raleigh, NC) brought Pfeiffer to within six at 21-15, before four-straight Lady Saints errors advanced the contest to a tight 21-19 match. However, a pair of late kills by Limestone’s Holli Dawson (Beaufort, SC) would give the Lady Saints a 25-22 set one win.
Both teams hit an identical .182 in the second set as Limestone again pulled away late for a 2-0 match lead. Another four play stretch with four errors by Limestone that forced a timeout, Pfeiffer would then find themselves up 10-8 before Thomas delivered three-straight kills putting Limestone back up a pair at 13-11. In the late stages of set two, Abbie Ovbey (Mt. Gilead, NC) and Dickens traded kills with Thomas and Dawson of Limestone to keep things close, before two-straight aces by Courtney Taotoai (Norwalk, CA) gave the Lady Saints a two-set advantage.
Trailing 4-1 early in set three, Dickens and O’Bryant, along with the home crowd, brought the Lady Falcons back in the match, before taking a lead for good at 5-5 on a kill by Kristina Mordini (Freeport, IL). Ovbey, Mordini and Dickens each had three kills, coupled with six Limestone errors, that gave the Lady Falcons eventual life with a 25-18 set three win to force a fourth set.
Again down 4-1 to start, Pfeiffer rebounded quickly with a pair of Mordini kills that forced a Limestone timeout at 11-9 in favor of the hosts. Two more Pfeiffer errors tied the fourth set up at 15-all before back-to-back kills by Dickens and O’Bryant separated the Lady Falcons for good in set number four. O’Bryant finished off the fourth set with a pair of kills, including the clincher, for a 25-20 set win forcing the fifth and final set.
With over 730 plays in the five-set thriller, both teams combined for 370 attack attempts, 203 serves, over 180 digs and 25 blocks. Thomas led everyone offensively with 20 kills on the night being the only one for Limestone with double-digit kills. Pfeiffer had three in the double-digits as Dickens paced the Lady Falcons with 15, while O’Bryant and Ovbey each had 11. Gerig led the way with 43 assists on the night as Seibert had 21 for Limestone with Laura Kerrison’s (Charleston, SC) had 17.