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UPike volleyball battles back at Bluefield for 3-2 win

BLUEFIELD, Va. – The steady improvement of the University of Pikeville volleyball team continued on Monday as it battled back from a two-set deficit to beat Bluefield (Va.) 3-2 at Dome Gymnasium.

After going without a win in Mid-South Conference play since 2010, the Bears have rattled off two this season, beating Cumberlands (Ky.) and now the Rams on the road.

With its third straight win, UPIKE is 12-11 overall and 2-7 in conference play. The 12 wins are the most since 2008 when UPIKE went 14-15. Bluefield drops to 4-14 and 0-8 in the MSC.

All five sets were closely contested in Bluefield on Monday as the Bears dropped the first two 25-22 and 25-20 before rallying for 25-21, 25-20 and 15-12 scores to seal the win.

UPIKE had more offensive power overall, hitting .204 compared to .181 for the Rams. Chelsea Stapes paced the Bears with 13 kills (.308) and three blocks, while Sydney Hall and Rachel Murphy joined her in double figures with 11 kills each.

Sydney Morris dished out a team-best 33 assists and Courtney Hodge added 11. Dominique Melvin was busy of defense with a match-high 35 digs, followed by Murphy with 20 and Haley Esquivel with 16.

Hall played a big role slowing down Bluefield with six blocks and Morris led the match with three aces.

Jasmine Morrow provided nearly all of the Rams’ offense with 25 kills and also came up with 26 digs and four blocks.

UPIKE is back in action at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) in Pippas Passes, Ky.

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