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VOLLEYBALL OUTLASTS LMU IN 3-2 MARATHON

Katie Luebke GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Katie Luebke recorded 25 kills and 18 digs to lead the Tusculum College volleyball team to a five-set victory over Lincoln Memorial University Wednesday night at Pioneer Arena. The Pioneers (20-7, 8-4 SAC) won the match by scores of 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13.

TC sweeps the season series over the Railsplitters (17-10, 5-7 SAC) while recording their fifth straight win over their East Tennessee rivals. The Pioneers also clinched their third consecutive 20-win season.

Four Tusculum players, including Luebke, finished with double-doubles on the night. Gina Coffaro added 16 kills and 17 digs, while Carly Swisher accounted for 15 kills, 14 digs and five blocks in the win. Setter Peyton Colclough dished out for 59 assists and a dozen digs to go along with a pair of service aces in the win.

LMU's Lauren Kiwacka recorded a triple-double in the loss as she finished with 11 kills, 25 assists and 13 digs. Amanda Horenkamp tallied 17 kills and 13 digs, while teammate Caitlyn Hankins finished with 15 kills and a .424 hitting percentage for the Railsplitters.

In the first set, LMU jumped out to a 9-3 lead and would never trail in the frame en route to a 25-19 decision. Horenkamp led the Railsplitters with five kills in the set as LMU posted a .293 attack percentage.

Tusculum rebounded in the second set as Swisher posted six kills in the frame and a .455 hitting percentage. TC led 8-3 early in the set thanks to four straight points on Luebke's serve. LMU responded with an 8-1 spurt, including six straight points by Allison Hess and three consecutive kills by Hankins as LMU led 10-9. With LMU leading 12-11, TC scored three in a row, including back-to-back kills by Swisher. Tusculum would later up its advantage to 20-15 before winning the frame 25-22.

There were five ties and three lead changes in the third set as Tusculum hit .375 as the Pioneers won 25-21. Luebke tallied a .500 hitting percentage with six kills in the set, while Colclough dished out a dozen assists. Trailing 17-15, TC used a 5-0 run, including four consecutive points on Colclough's serve.

After an Ashley Knight kill to brought LMU to within one at 21-20, Tusculum called timeout and got a service ace by Erika Garcia and a kill from Heather MacArthur on set point as TC led two sets to one.

LMU led throughout most of the fourth set, getting a balanced team effort as six different players recorded kills and the Railsplitters finished with a .333 attack percentage. Leading 10-9, LMU went on a 4-0 run as Kiwacka added a pair of kills and a service ace to move up 14-10. LMU would finish the set with a flurry before settling for a 25-22 score, sending the match into the fifth and deciding frame.

Neither team enjoyed more than a two-point lead in the final set that saw 11 ties. The final deadlock came at 13-13 when Coffaro posted her fourth kill of the set. Luebke got a critical kill for the 14th point and TC would win the match on a LMU hitting error.

Garcia led Tusculum's defensive efforts with 21 kills, while MacIntyre tallied a match-best 25 digs for the Railsplitters. Setter Krysten Adsuara dished out a team-best 27 assists and two service aces in the loss for LMU.

Tusculum hosts Carson-Newman College this Saturday at 2 p.m. from Pioneer Arena. TC and C-N went the distance in last month's meeting with the Pioneers prevailing 3-2. LMU will be at Mars Hill College on Saturday for a 5 p.m. SAC match.

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