MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Down two sets to none, Pfeiffer University rallied back for a 19-17 fifth set win and thrilling 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 19-17) Conference Carolinas victory over Erskine College in women’s volleyball action on Friday night inside the Merner Gym. The Lady Falcons fought off two Erskine match points after having two of their own improving to 10-14 overall, 9-6 in league play. The Lady Fleet drop to 15-10, 11-4.
Way back in set one, both teams started the night’s trend of coming down to the wire tied 22-22 after a Jordan O'Bryant (Reidsville, NC) kill. After a Flying Fleet attack error gave Pfeiffer a one-point lead, Erskine sophomore Lauren Stewart (Hartwell, GA) came up with the sets final three kills to give the Lady Fleet the opener.
Erskine took early control of the second set and never looked back as both teams hit very well with the Lady Fleet out-hitting Pfeiffer .343 to .320. Alison Albers (Goodhue, MN) led the way early on for Erskine before Sandra Campbell (Pilot Point, TX) and Liz Massey (Greenville, SC) kills made it a 22-18 contest. Campbell and Stewart finished off set two for Erskine grabbing a 2-0 match advantage.
Pfeiffer bounced back early in set three with a pair of Erskine errors and kills by Kristina Mordini (Freeport, IL). A throw down by O’Bryant forced one Lady Fleet timeout at 10-6, before a Kim Amerell (Lynchburg, VA) kill, Abbie Ovbey (Mt. Gilead, NC) kill and ace by Erin Gray (Sneads Ferry, NC) gave the Lady Falcons an 18-11 advantage. Late Erskine errors and another kill from Mordini and Amerell helped the host stave off a sweep heading to a fourth set.
Looking to close out the match in four, Erskine’s Campbell knotted the contest at 16 halfway through the set before a Lady Fleet service error on the next play, gave Pfeiffer the set lead for good. Freshman Anna Vizvary (North Augusta, SC) had a pair of kills while Gray and Cassie Byerly (Lewistown, MT) each served up another ace to help close it out and send the match to the decisive fifth set.
Set five turned out to be the best set of the year for the Lady Falcons going back and forth with Erskine right down to the end. Spectacular digs, attacks and defense on both sides led to each team grabbing an early lead up until six all. The tied contest happened with Gray’s final ace of her three on the night before three-straight attack errors by Erskine gave Pfeiffer a three point lead, costing the Lady Fleet a timeout.
Erskine rallied back with two more kills from Massey and a pair of game-tying, match saving kills by Mary Crawford James (Mt. Pleasant, SC) at Pfeiffer match points 14-13 and 15-14. The first Lady Fleet match point was made possible by Campbell before Pfeiffer’s Vizvary squared the contest back at 16. Campbell again gave the visitors their second match point until fellow freshman Amerell tied it up at 17-17. After an attack error by Erskine gave Pfeiffer its third match point of the set, Ovbey put down the contest’s final kill to give the Lady Falcons its 3-2 win.
Mordini led all hitters with a match-high 16 kills followed by Amerell’s 14. Erskine placed four hitters in the double-digits led by Massey’s 14 and Campbell’s 13 while Stewart and James each had 11. Defensively, Pfeiffer had 79 digs to Erskine’s 70 led by libero Kaci Markham’s (Asheboro, NC) 25. Mordini tossed up 18 while setter Colleen Wands (Apex, NC) had 17. Both teams combined for 19 total team blocks on the night with Pfeiffer holding that advantage 11-8.
Erskine gets back to action on Saturday afternoon taking on Queens in Charlotte while Pfeiffer will have a few days rest before traveling to Lees-McRae on Tuesday night.