SALISBURY, N.C. --- Catawba claimed a three-set win over visiting Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Goodman Gym. The Catawba Indians got a dozen kills from Melissa Griffith in the 27-25, 25-18, 25-23 victory. The Lady Indians improve to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in the SAC, while the Pioneers fall to 12-5 and 3-2.

Griffith was followed in the kill category by Melissa Powers, who tallied 10 kills, 10 digs, four blocks and three aces. Taylor Doss equaled a career-high with eight kills and setter Megan Courson delivered 37 assists.

The Pioneers were led by Gina Coffaro, who had a dozen kills. Katie Luebke had nine kills and a pair of aces, while Carly Swisher recorded eight kills, 11 digs and three blocks. Freshman setter Peyton Colclough had 27 assists and 15 digs.

The teams went back-and-forth in the opening set until Catawba put together a four-point run, capped by an ace from Powers, to grab a 17-14 lead. The Pioneers would pull even at 20-all and finished a four-point run of their own after a hitting error from Catawba to lead 22-20.

A Swisher kill put Tusculum up 23-21, but the Lady Indians took three straight points for a 24-23 edge. Coffaro tied the match at 24-all on a kill and after Griffith and Swisher traded kills, the match was even at 25-all. Jasmine Chunn killed a point for a Catawba lead and an attack error gave the winning point to the Lady Indians.

Catawba used a six-point run midway through set two to take control. With the set tied at 15-15, a Griffith kill gave the ball to Courson, who served up five points to push the edge to 21-15. Mai Zoua Lo had a pair of kills down the stretch to help close out the set.

The teams settled into a tight third set with a combo block from Swisher and Heather MacArthur staking the Pioneers to a 12-10 lead. A kill by Luebke and a Catawba attack error had Tusculum on top 21-18, but kills from Powers and Griffith and a combo block from Powers and Courson brought Catawba even.

Griffith kept the Catawba run alive with a pair of kills sandwiched around a combo block with Powers for a 24-21 lead. A kill by Coffaro ended the six-point run and the Pioneers pulled within 24-23 after an attack error. The Lady Indians got their final point on a Tusculum attack error.

Tusculum returns to action Saturday morning as the Pioneers take on Lenoir-Rhyne for an 11 a.m. match from Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

- TC -