by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's volleyball team recorded its fifth straight victory Saturday afternoon by rallying against Southern Wesleyan University, 19-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-13, in Conference Carolinas play at Wilson Gymnasium.
The last four of those wins for the Lady Bulldogs (8-6, 4-0) have come in league play, where BC holds the North Division lead over the University of Mount Olive (6-7, 3-1). With the loss, Southern Wesleyan dropped to 7-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
Junior Angelica Acevedo produced another double-double of 58 assists and 12 digs, and also recorded six blocks for the Bulldogs. Junior Allie Cullens registered a team-high eight blocks to go along with nine kills. Freshman Ashley Owen finished the afternoon with 10 digs for BC.
The Warriors were paced by freshman Olivia Johnson's 19 kills. Junior Annika Jones tallied 45 helpers for Southern Wesleyan, while also adding four blocks.
Southern Wesleyan jumped out to a quick 11-3 lead in set one. The Bulldogs responded with a kill by Wiseman and an attack error from the Warriors to pull within six points at 11-5, but Southern Wesleyan used a kill by Johnson to stop the Lady Bulldogs run.
Senior Paige O'Connor made it a 20-10 score after delivering a kill for the Warriors and would ultimately spark Southern Wesleyan to the 25-19 win in set one.
The second set saw BC tally the first three points after a pair of kills from Elkins and one from Wiseman. The Warriors used their own three-point rally to knot the score before falling behind 4-3. An attack error by Southern Wesleyan allowed the Lady Bulldogs to even the score 7-7 in the set, but a counter by the Warriors and a four-point run opened the score up to 11-7. A late surge in the set from Barton closed the gap to 24-20 only to see the Warriors take the set on the next play and secure the 25-20 victory.
A service ace from Elkins in the third set helped Barton to take a 9-4 lead and gain some momentum on the Warriors. Midway through the set, Southern Wesleyan would tie the set at 16-all after another kill by Johnson. BC wouldn't look back after Cullens gave her team a 17-16 lead as Wiseman later finished-off the set with a kill for the 25-21 win.
Barton controlled the action in set four, leading by as many as 12 points after a pair of four-point rallies. With BC leading 23-11, the Warriors looked to claw back into the set by rattling off four consecutive points to trim the Lady Bulldogs lead to 23-15. A kill by Miller followed by an attack error from Southern Wesleyan handed Barton the 25-15 victory and would send the match to a decisive fifth set.
Miller and Cullens teamed together in the fifth set to help BC race out to a 4-0 advantage before the Warriors would tally their first point. The lead for BC would extend to 8-3 before Southern Wesleyan closed the gap to two points (8-6). Barton seemed to have the comeback completed with a 14-11 lead in the winner-take-all set until the Warriors had other plans and used a quick two-point surge to make things interesting. Elkins would close the book on the match with a kill off of an assist from Acevedo to make it 15-13.
Barton returns to action on Tuesday when it heads to Mount Olive for a 7 p.m. match.