HARROGATE, TN - On Saturday afternoon, the Lincoln Memorial University volleyball team went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs of Wingate University over the first two sets before losing their final regular season match of the year 3-1 to finish the conference schedule 7-9 on the year.
LMU came out stong in the opener, shocking Wingate with a 25-22 win. The second set was almost a mirror image of the first however, this time the Bulldogs closed the deal down the stretch with a 27-25 win. The victory in the second stanza was the lift Wingate was looking for to get on track. The Bulldogs reeled off back-to-back wins in sets three and four 25-16 and 25-15 to close the deal and finish the 2008 conference schedule unbeaten at 16-0.
Saturday's senior day loss drops the Lady Railsplitters to 19-12 on the year and places them as the league's No. 6 seed in the upcoming Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament that will begin next week. Wingate will represent the No. 1 seed having lost no conference matches and boasting an overall record of 27-1 on the year.
Wingate's Liz Willis dished out 46 assists to set the tone for the Bulldogs. Kathryn Reddick, Lauren Billo, Rebecca Bloemer and Stormi Gale benefitted from Willis' assists, finishing the night with 15, 13, 11 and 10 kills respectively.
The Wingate defensive effort was equally as strong and led by Maggie Malone who finished the match with a game-high 36 digs. Teammates Brittany Horner contributed 17, Stormi Gale 16 and Liz Willis 11 en route to the Bulldogs twenty-seventh win of the year. WU's Kathryn Reddick also had three block assists and one block solo at the net.
The Lady Railsplitters had two players to finish with nine kills each. Outside hitters Amanda Horenkamp (Murfreesboro, TN)< /strong> and Ashley Knight (Palm Harbor, FL) led the offensive barrage, while setter Laren Kiwacka (Tipp City, OH) recorded 26 assists.
Defense was the key to the Lady Railsplitters explosive play most of the afternoon. Amanda Horenkamp led a quartet that combined for 76 digs in the match. Horenkamp finished the match with 23 digs, while Kiwacka and Knight each had 19 and libero Alicia MacIntyre (Muncie, IN) notched 15. Lady Railsplitter middle hitter Alison Hess (Dayton, OH) ended the match with a game-high four block assists, while teammate Kodi Cartwright (Layton, UT) had three.
The 2008 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament will get underway November 14-15 and will be played in Greeneville, Tennessee. The Lady Railsplitters will most likely face off against arch rival Carson-Newman College, while the Bulldogs will square off against Brevard College.