Newberry, S.C. – The Lander volleyball team topped the field in Friday's first day of action at the Newberry Volleyball Invitational. The Bearcats began the day with a 3-1 victory over Coker and a 3-0 sweep of Southern Wesleyan in the afternoon match.
The Bearcats stumbled out of the gate in their first match of the 2017 season, as the Cobras stole the opening game by a score of 25-19. However the Bearcats quickly rebounded after the early defeat, rattling off three straight wins against Coker to take the match.
Freshman right side hitter Hannah Hritz shone in her debut with the Bearcats as the Florida native recorded 21 points with 20 kills on 51 attempts. In the second game, with Lander leading Coker 24-23, Hritz came up big for the Bearcats with a crucial game-deciding kill assisted by junior setter Sophia Perkins. Perkins led the team in assists with 24 and anchored the team in the final game, serving the last four points for the Bearcats.
Sophomore libero Hannah McManus paved the way for Lander on defense recording 23 digs. Senior outside hitter Kristin Martindale added 19 digs of her own to go along with five kills.
In the second match of the day, the Bearcats rattled off three straight games against Southern Wesleyan to extend their game winning streak to six games after dropping their first game to Coker.
Sophomore right side hitter Dale Rogers led the way for Lander with 12.5 points off 11 kills. With Lander down 21-15 in the final game of the match, Dale recorded three kills to propel the Bearcats to a 25-23 come from behind victory.
Freshman setter Nell Copeland poured in a team-high 19 assists and McManus bested the box score with 18 digs.
Lander will be back in action at the Newberry Volleyball Invitational tomorrow with a 9:00 a.m. match against North Greenville and a 3:00 p.m. contest with Newberry.