Lander topples Converse, 3-0, for sixth straight victory

Lander topples Converse, 3-0, for sixth straight victory

GREENWOOD – The Lander volleyball team earned a 3-0 win over Converse in front of 318 fans in the Bearcats' home opener on Wednesday night. The Bearcats knocked off the Valkyries 25-13, 25-17, 25-23. 

Lander (7-1) was led by Reilly Kuenstler's 14 kills and a career-high 39 assists from Madilyn Reed. Katilyn Krafka posted a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs, while Hannah McManus and Boo Luther added 10 digs each. 

"I thought it was a good home opener," said head coach Ashley White. "We had great crowd support, so it was super fun. I definitely saw some things we need to work on, which is going to prepare us for this weekend."

Lander trailed 4-2 in the first set, but controlled the rest of the set with a 23-11 run to take the early lead. A back-and-forth second set finally broke open as the Bearcats used a pair of Krafka kills to take a 16-8 lead. Converse rallied to close the gap to 20-16, but Lander won five of the set's final six points to move ahead 2-0. 

The Valkyries fought back in set three and led 23-21, threating to force a fourth set. However, three consecutive attack errors put Lander up 24-23 and a kill from Kyra Ross punctuated the comeback as the Bearcats completed the sweep. 

Lander travels to this weekend for the USC Aiken Invitational. The Bearcats will face Carson-Newman and West Alabama on Friday before battling Barton and Queens on Saturday.