by Doug Page
GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Barton College women's volleyball team saved its best performance of the night for the fourth set on Friday night against the Limestone College Saints. BC rallied after dropping the opening set to pick-up a 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21) victory inside the Timkin Center in Conference Carolinas action.
Barton (9-11, 5-0) handed the Saints just their second loss in league play this season after struggling in the opening set. The Bulldogs rallied to record 16 kills and hit .240 as a team in the fourth set to secure their sixth straight victory. Limestone (8-6, 5-2) battled until the final point of the fourth set and recorded 10 blocks as a team, including five solo blocks.
Junior Kelsey Riquelme recorded nine kills to go along with five block assists in the match for Barton. Senior Allie Cullens tallied four block assists alongside Riquelme while adding seven kills for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Kaytlin Elkins notched a team-high 17 kills while also matching a career-high with 14 digs for BC. Senior Angelica Acevedo tallied a double-double with a match-high 36 assists and 11 digs, while redshirt senior Riley Bane notched a team-high 15 digs for Barton.
Madyson Lousignont recorded 19 of the Saints' 39 kills in the match and tallied a solo block along with three block assists to pace Limestone. Madysen Williams added nine kills and one solo block for the Saints, while setter Mia Bergan notched a double-double with 33 assists and 13 digs. Victoria Norwood recorded six kills to go along with a pair of service aces in the match for Limestone.
Both teams struggled in the opening set as Limestone recorded 10 kills and seven attack errors, while the Bulldogs tallied eight kills and nine attack errors. The set featured eight ties and five lead changes. Barton took an early 6-1 lead in the set following a kill from senior Haley Headley but would see Limestone answer with a 2-0 run to trim the deficit in half. Back-to-back attack errors by Limestone allowed the Bulldogs to open the advantage to 8-3 before the Saints found some momentum and cut the gap to 8-7.
KayCee Tessitore delivered two of her three aces on the night to cap a 4-0 run for the Saints, who would take an 11-9 lead. BC countered with a 3-0 run to retake the lead at 12-11. The Bulldogs appeared to have control of the set following a 4-0 rally that saw BC take a 20-18 lead and force Limestone to call a timeout. Trailing 22-21, Limestone had other plans as the Saints closed the set on a 4-0 run to record the 25-22 victory along with a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Bulldogs would have to work around a 6-0 run for the Saints halfway through the second set and rally to knot the score 13-13. Trailing 18-17, BC used a block from Headley and Riquelme followed by a kill from Headley to take a 20-18 advantage. Barton would knot the match with a 25-22 victory in the set as Cullens and Elkins recorded consecutive kills.
Limestone started the third set with a 5-0 run as it looked to take back the momentum on its home court. The lead would expand to 7-3 before the Bulldogs came storming back with a 5-0 rally to take an 8-7 lead. Barton won seven of the next nine points to open five-point (17-12) lead. Limestone rallied to within a point of knotting the score in the set after a 3-0 run trimmed the deficit to 23-22. A service error from Limestone coupled with an ace from freshman Brittany Silance gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-22 victory.
The fourth set was a seesaw battle between the Bulldogs and Saints as Limestone found itself with a two-point cushion late in the set. Leading 18-16, Limestone would see Barton tally nine of the final 12 points in the set to deny the Saints from forcing a fifth set. BC went on a 3-0 run to take a 21-19 lead as Limestone used its first timeout of the set. The break would pay-off for the Saints as they recorded two quick points to even the score 21-21. Barton closed the set with a 4-0 rally to record its fifth league win of the season. Cullens started the run with a kill and would see Elkins finish things off with three straight kills to secure the 25-21 victory.
The Bulldogs close the weekend with a 2 p.m. matchup on Saturday against Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. The Bulldogs return to action next week with a trip to Bristol, Tenn. to face King University at 7 p.m.