The Lee University volleyball team remains unbeaten through its first three matches with a 3-1 defeat of Spring Hill College Wednesday evening in Paul Dana Walker Arena. The Lady Flames (3-0) won the opening set 25-20, before the Badgers (1-4) evened the score with a 25-17 advantage in the second set. Lee held on to win the third stanza 25-23 and completed the victory with a 25-19 fourth-set score.
“I knew coming in that they had already played in a very tough tournament, so I knew the level of play was going to go up,” said Lee head coach Andrea Hudson.
“That’s why we saw some long rallies tonight. Both teams were really playing all-out defense and it really forced us to find shots tonight.”
Three Lady Flames finished the night with double-digit kills. Freshman Abby Stroh led the way with 16, while Bailey Kress and Quinne Daoust added 13 and 12, respectively.
Hanna Matthews recorded 44 assists and had four kills, including the final point of the match. Matthews also had seven digs, two service aces and two block assists.
“I felt like I hadn’t sent the ball over on the second contact in a while and I could see that it might be a good idea, so I went for it and luckily the ball hit the ground,” said Matthews about the match-clinching kill.
Stroh and Savannah Chan joined Matthews with two aces each. Chan also contributed five kills and a dig. Micaela McMichen tallied a match-high 34 digs and Daoust was right behind with 29. Stroh supplied 14 digs and Hannah Longley gave Lee four players in double-digit digs with 13.
Spring Hill’s offense was led by Bentley Odom and Kassandra Fairly. Odom posted 16 kills and Fairly was credited with 15 kills. Emmarose Neibert dished out 41 of the team’s 51 assists.
Three Badgers amassed over 20 digs a piece. Cassidi Sterrett was the team leader with 26. Mikayla Boyer had 23 and Payton Gidney added 20 digs.
The Lady Flames will compete in their first matches away from home this weekend with a trip to Aiken, S.C., for the USC Aiken Invitational. Lee faces North Greenville University on Friday at noon before taking on Lander University at 5 p.m. The Lady Flames have a 10 a.m. date with Florida Southern College on Saturday and conclude the invitational with a 12:30 p.m. appointment with the host, USC Aiken.
“It’s a really tough tournament. We know we are going to face four very tough teams. It’s time that we dive into that and we see what we’re made of and how we can bounce back. I’m excited about it and to see how we play against that kind of competition,” concluded Hudson.