Four Winthrop players recorded double-digit kills Saturday as the Eagles volleyball team overcame a two-set deficit to upend the Liberty Flames.
Winthrop improved to 12-11 overall and 3-6 in the Big South while Liberty fell to 6-16 overall and 5-4 in the conference.
Liberty won the first set, 25-22, with a late 80-3 run.
In the second game Winthrop led at 23-21 when Liberty took a timeout. After the timeout Winthrop didn’t score another point as Liberty took the final four points to win the second set, 25-23.
The Eagles had set point 24-23 in the third set but the Flames held them off twice before falling, 26-24.
The fourth set showed a very strong performance by the Eagles. The Eagles took a 14-9 advantage over the Flames, forcing Liberty to take a timeout. The break didn’t help the Flames as Winthrop increased its lead to 21-13, when Liberty took its second timeout of the set. Again, the Eagles held strong and took the fourth set 25-16.
In the deciding fifth set, the Eagles used a 7-1 run to open a 10-4 advantage. Liberty battled back to get within three at 12-9 but couldn’t get any closer as Winthrop held on for the 15-10 fifth-set victory.
Irene Ojukwu led all hitters with 18 kills and grabbed a double-double by adding 14 digs. Alina Sopizhuk tallied 17 kills in only three sets played and also finished with a double-double, adding 11 digs. Emma Weakland had a season-high 13 kills while Rachel Lenz added 12. Jessie Vicic notched a double-double with 62 assists and 19 digs while Maria Volstad contributed 18 digs.
The Eagles will return to the court next Saturday at 2 p.m. on the road at Charleston Southern.
Winthrop women’s soccer falls
Winthrop women’s soccer team fell to Big South Conference leader Radford. Winthrop, which has one regular season game remaining, fell to 11-4-1, 7-3 in the Big South. Radford improved to 13-2-1, 9-1.
Radford scored first when Asyia Mitchell was brought down by senior Megan Pritts inside the box. Rachel Conway scored on the resulting penalty kick. Winthrop junior Megan David almost tied the score in the final seconds of the first half, but her header off a free kick from Krystyna Freda was wide of the net.
In the second half Winthrop tied the score. Radford picked up steam after the goal, out-shooting Winthrop 6-0 in the 15 minutes after the goal and finally getting the go-ahead score in the 64th minute when freshman Melanie Priestley bent a ball into the side netting from 20 yards. Winthrop only had one shot for the rest of the game.
Winthrop’s final regular season game is Wednesday night at home against Presbyterian College at 6 p.m.
Winthrop men’s soccer falls
Winthrop’s men gave up two goals in the final 21 minutes to lose to Longwood 2-1 Saturday.
The game-winning goal came with 26 seconds left in the game as Anthony Ugorji picked up a pass that squeezed through the Eagles defense and dribbled toward goal. Once in the box, Ugorji took a shot that deflected off Winthrop's Jon Simic as he came in for the tackle and spun around Fabian Broich and into the right corner as he tried to chase it down for the save.
Winthrop falls to 9-5-1 overall and 3-4 in the Big South while Longwood is 6-5-3 overall and 5-1-1 in the league.
Senior Achille Obougou gave the Eagles an early lead with his ninth goal of the season in the 10th minute. The goal came after a corner kick when the ball was cleared out straight away as the ball was sent back into the box very high. Simic worked his way under it and headed the ball across the goal mouth as Obougou controlled it and ripped a shot into the back of the net. It was the fourth straight game in which he's scored.