GREENWOOD – The Lander women's volleyball team put together one of its best offensive outings of the season on Tuesday night, hitting .315 in a 3-1 win over rival Erskine at Horne Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Flying Fleet 25-19, 20-25, 25-11, 25-15.
The Bearcats (15-3) improved to 6-1 all-time against Erskine (5-13). The 323 fans in attendance marked the largest crowd to ever witness the two rivals play in Horne Arena and the largest crowd in the series since 2009. With the win, Lander is off to its best start through 18 matches in program history.
"I thought Erskine was a great opponent tonight," said head coach Ashley White. "I thought we came back really determined [after the second set]. Our offensive game was absolutely out of this world. This is a really good start to our week going into our conference matches this weekend."
Lander took advantage of early Erskine errors to build a 5-2 lead in the opening set and led by as many as seven before the Fleet rallied to pull to within three points at 20-17. Kaitlyn Krafka and Hannah Hritz responded with four kills in Lander's final five points to give the Bearcats a 25-19 win in set one.
The Fleet responded in set two, breaking open a 13-13 tie with a 6-1 run en route to a 25-20 win to tie the match.
Holding a 13-10 lead in the third set, Lander exploded for a 12-1 run, led by three kills from Imari Ashley and a pair of aces from Krafka. An error from the Fleet ended the set as Lander rolled to a 25-11 win.
Lander appeared to be in control of the fourth set after a Boo Luther kill gave the Bearcats a 9-3 lead, but Erskine trimmed the gap to 11-8 midway through the set. Krafka answered with three consecutive kills, sparking a 6-1 Bearcat run. Lander punctuated the night with a 5-0 flourish, capped by a kill from Kyra Ross.
Krafka and Reed both recorded double-doubles on the night. Krafka finished with a 19 kills and 18 digs, while Reed posted 45 assists and 17 digs. Hritz hit .424 with 16 kills and Hannah McManus posted a season-high six assists to go along with her 32 digs.
The Bearcats face a pair of Peach Belt Conference opponents on the road this weekend, traveling to Augusta on Friday night and Georgia College on Saturday afternoon.