AIKEN, S.C. – The Lander volleyball team set the tone in the season opener with a dominant first set and rode the momentum to a 3-0 win over Johnson C. Smith on Friday afternoon at the USC Aiken Opening Weekend Tournament. The Bearcats topped the Golden Bulls 25-8, 25-10, 25-19.
Lander (1-0) stormed out to an 8-1 lead in the first set, led by five early kills from Hannah Hritz, and led 16-3 midway through the set before cruising to a 25-8 first set win. The Bearcats kept their foot on the gas in the second set, leading the Golden Bulls (0-1) 20-5 before Johnson C. Smith won five of the set's final 10 points. Lander substituted freely in the final set as the Bearcats claimed a 25-19 win to clinch the match. All 16 players on Lander's roster played in the Bearcat victory.
Freshmen Kaitlyn Krafka and Madilyn Reed enjoyed successful debuts, leading the Bearcats in kills and assists. Krafka finished with 16 kills and Reed tallied 33 assists in the win. Junior Hannah McManus recorded a team-high 19 digs.
Lander is back in action in Aiken on Saturday morning against Barry for a 10:00 a.m. match.