Underwood shines in fourth straight win
HARROGATE, Tenn. --- Sam Underwood recorded a double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs to lead the Tusculum College volleyball team to a 3-1 South Atlantic Conference win at Lincoln Memorial University Tuesday night at Mars Gym.
The Pioneers (22-5, 16-2 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-22, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21 to complete the season sweep over the Lady Railsplitters (20-6, 10-6 SAC) and fifth straight victory in Harrogate.
Senior Allyson Ray tallied 10 kills and a pair of blocks, while Ashley Sarmiento, the SAC Specialist of the Week, added 37 assists, seven digs and five kills to go along with a .357 hitting percentage. Caitlyn Dean finished with a match-best 23 digs, while Melanie Gibson and Bailee Price added 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Price also contributed four service aces in TC’s fourth consecutive win.
LMU’s Lauren Kiwacka recorded a triple-double with 11 kills, 20 assists and 10 digs, while Ashley Knight notched 11 kills and 22 digs. Kaitlin Walton recorded 11 kills, while Brittany Pugh distributed 22 assists and 14 digs for the Lady Railsplitters. Kristen Cantrell and Candace Richardson tallied 13 and 11 digs in the losing effort.
In the opening set, Tusculum rallied from a 12-9 deficit and used an 11-5 run to win the opening frame 25-22. The run was sparked by two kills each by Underwood and Ray.
The Pioneers never trailed in the second set that included three ties, including 9-9 following a kill from LMU’s Candace Richardson. TC responded with a 6-0 spurt, including three kills by Underwood as the Pioneers won 25-16.
The Lady Railsplitters bounced back in the third frame, using a 9-3 run to close out the set to win 25-19, which was finished off by a Kiwacka kill.
The fourth set was a thriller as the lead exchanged hands four times with four ties. LMU led 16-15 thanks to a Walton kill. But the Pioneers closed out the set with a 10-6 spark, including an Underwood kill and a Price ace to give Tusculum the lead for good to win the set 25-22 and seal the match.
Tusculum wraps up the most successful SAC regular season in school history with its sterling 16-2 league slate. The Pioneers will wrap up its regular season schedule on Saturday as TC travels to Augusta State University for a 1 p.m. match.
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