by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – A 3-0 decision saw the Barton College women's volleyball team drop its second straight match on Friday night inside the Wilson Gymnasium as the Emmanuel College Lions held onto the top spot in the Conference Carolinas standings.
Barton (10-13, 6-2) would be unable to stop several rallies from Emmanuel in the match despite holding the Lions to a .093 hitting percentage in the opening set. Emmanuel (16-8, 10-1) became the first team to record double-digit victories in league play this season and secured momentum in the match after hitting .417 in the second set.
Sophomore Kaytlin Elkins paced the Bulldogs with seven kills in the match and added eight digs. Senior Allie Cullens tallied five kills and two solo blocks for the Bulldogs, while sophomore Camryn Frederick added five kills. Redshirt senior Riley Bane recorded a team-high 15 digs in the match while adding a service ace and senior Angelica Acevedo added a team-high 12 assists.
Julie de Blanck paced the Lions with a match-high 13 kills and hit .387 in the match. de Blanck also recorded a pair of solo blocks in the match, while Jenna Woodruff added nine kills and four digs. Nikki Kraning delivered a match-high five aces for Emmanuel to go along with nine digs, while Aysha Avery tallied a match-high 20 digs.
The Lions opened the first set on a 3-0 run and would eventually increase the lead to 9-5 off a kill from Woodruff. Barton countered with a rally to trim the deficit to 9-8 thanks to consecutive attack errors by Emmanuel. The Lions would take the momentum right back with a 3-0 run to up the lead to 12-8. Leading 12-10, Emmanuel forced BC to use a timeout on the heels of a 5-0 run.
Trailing 23-15 in the set, Barton put together a rally to cut the deficit to 23-18 following a miscue by Emmanuel's Mia McKensey. The Lions secured the 25-20 victory in the set as de Blanck tallied a kill off an assist from Stephanie Hardy to put Emmanuel up 1-0.
Barton kept the second set within reach following a kill from Headley that cut the deficit to 11-8. The Lions answered though with a 4-0 run to increase their advantage to 15-8 off a service ace from Kraning. BC would call a timeout and get a kill from Frederick to end the run by Emmanuel. The Bulldogs would later use their second timeout as McKensey delivered a kill to put the Lions up 20-11.
The timeout wouldn't phase the Emmanuel offense as the Lions rattled off four consecutive points to pull within one of securing the second set. The Bulldogs tallied a pair of points off kills from Elkins and Frederick to trim the deficit to 24-13 before Emmanuel ended the set off a service error by the Bulldogs.
Barton opened the third set with a nice run as an ace from Bane concluded a 4-0 rally by the Bulldogs. The Lions would be up to the task, using an 11-0 run to knot the score and eventually take a 12-5 lead before BC got a kill from freshman Sarah Kirk. Woodruff paced the Lions during their 11-point swing, tallying four kills for Emmanuel.
An ace from Kirk followed by a kill from Elkins trimmed the deficit to 12-8 before an attack error gave the serve back to Emmanuel. Later in the set, Barton tallied consecutive points off a kill from Cullens followed by a double-block from Kirk and junior Kelsey Riquelme to trim the gap to 19-16. Emmanuel would go on a 6-0 run to close out the set and secure the 25-16 victory and the 3-0 sweep of the Bulldogs in the process.
The Bulldogs host Erskine College on Saturday at 12 p.m. inside Wilson Gymnasium. Barton will then hit the road for three consecutive league matches beginning with Mount Olive on Oct. 23.