GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Stormi Gale posted 14 kills, 12 digs and four service aces to lead the Wingate University volleyball team to a 3-1 win over host Tusculum College Sunday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference action. The Bulldogs (10-1, 2-0 SAC) won the match by scores of 21-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-19.
Wingate setter Liz Willis dished out a match-high 43 assists as the Bulldogs increase their winning streak to eight in a row. Maggie Malone led the Wingate defense with 24 digs.
Tusculum (10-4, 1-1 SAC) had three players with 11 kills each in Katie Luebke, Gina Coffaro and Carly Swisher. Coffaro also finished with 18 digs and a pair of blocks as the Pioneers have their four-match winning streak snapped.
In the first set, Tusculum rallied from a 19-18 deficit as the Pioneers closed out the frame with a 6-3 run including four straight service points by Katie Luebke, including an ace as TC prevailed 25-21.
Wingate never trailed in the second set, but had to hold off several Tusculum rallies. Wingate moved out to a 16-10 advantage, including three straight service aces by Gale. With the Bulldogs leading 24-20, the Pioneers fought off four set points, including three service points by Luebke as TC tied the frame at 24-24. But two straight points for Wingate thanks to a TC hitting error and a kill by Heather Myklebust gave the visitors a 26-24 decision to square the match at 1-1.
In the third set, Wingate led wire-to-wire, including a 9-3 run to open the frame, thanks in part to three service points from Brittany Horner. TC would trim the lead to 22-19 later in the match, thanks once again to three Luebke service points, including an ace. But the Bulldogs would answer winning three of the final four points, including a kill by Gale as Wingate won 25-20.
In the final set, Willis paced the Bulldogs to a 7-2 advantage out of the gate en route to a 25-19 score to end the match.
Tusculum returns to action Tuesday night when the Pioneers travel to Carson-Newman for a 6:30 p.m. match at Holt Fieldhouse. Wingate is back on Tuesday when it hosts Catawba for a 7 p.m. clash at Cuddy Arena.
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