by Doug Page
AIKEN, S.C. – Despite seeing four different lead changes in the opening set, the Barton College women's volleyball team dropped its second match of the day on Saturday at the USC Aiken Invitational. BC dropped a 3-0 (17-25, 22-25, 18-25) decision against USC Aiken.
Barton (3-11) went 2-2 at the two-day tournament hosted by the Pacers after tallying wins against Catawba and Carson-Newman. USC Aiken (8-2) hit .259 as a team in the match and was able to spread the offense around as five players tallied at least five kills.
Freshman Peyton Kendall and senior Haley Headley each tallied seven kills in the match for Barton. Freshman Sarah Kirk added 16 assists and nine digs for BC, while senior Angelica Acevedo tallied 18 assists to go along with 15 digs. Sophomore Kaytlin Elkins recorded a match-high 11 kills while notching eight digs for the Bulldogs.
The Pacers were guided by 11 kills from Christine Carroll, while Alie Smith added nine kills, two aces, and four digs. Alli Bell recorded a match-high 22 assists to go along with eight digs, while Rebecca Martinez tallied a match-high 34 digs.
The opening set between the Bulldogs and Pacers featured nine ties, four lead changes and a combined 28 kills. USC Aiken committed just three attack errors as a team in the set en route to taking a 1-0 lead in the match after recording a 25-17 victory.
Barton took a 2-1 lead in the second set after a kill from Elkins but would see the Pacers answer with a 6-0 run to gain a 7-2 advantage. The Bulldogs stayed within closing distance of the Pacers and used a 3-0 rally to trim the deficit to 23-20 following an ace from sophomore Ashley Owen and kill from Kendall. BC then trimmed the deficit to two points (24-22) as Headley tallied a kill off an assist from Bane. The Pacers secured the set with a kill from Kayla Duggan to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
USC Aiken would lead from start to finish in the third set as the Pacers took a 5-1 lead on the heels of a 3-0 run. The best stretch of the set for Barton came after trailing 10-5 and rallying to trim the deficit to 11-9. Trailing 22-13, BC rallied once again and pulled to within five points of the Pacers after a couple of miscues from the home team. A kill from Anita Cookey-Gam secured the 3-0 sweep for the Pacers as they recorded the 25-18 victory in the set.
The Bulldogs wrap up their season-opening 15-match road-trip with a Conference Carolinas matchup at King University on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. BC went 2-0 last season against the Tornado, including a 3-0 win at King on Nov. 4, 2017.