Winthrop's volleyball team avenged an early season loss to Gardner-Webb as it pulled of the sweep, 3-0, on "Dig for the Cure" night on Friday at the Winthrop Coliseum.
"We were very happy to host 'Dig for the Cure' tonight and we were able to out-dig Gardner-Webb 54-50," Winthrop coach Sally Polhamus said.
With the victory, the Eagles improved their overall record to 9-13 and their conference record to 5-4. Gardner-Webb fell to 5-19 overall and 3-7 in Big South play.
"Tonight, we came out ready to play Gardner-Webb," Polhamus said. "We have grown so much as a team since the last time we played."
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Winthrop was led offensively by junior right-side hitter Kelley Taylor, who finished the match with 13 kills and hit .591. Also in double-figure kills was senior middle hitter Shannon Sitzmann, who had 10 kills and 10 digs. Freshman libero Janice Rivera led the Eagles with 13 digs and sophomore middle hitter Sara Felts had one solo block and six block assists.
In the first set, the two teams battled back and forth. Winthrop was leading by only one point at 18-17 before it took control of the set. The Eagles took seven of the last nine points of the first set to take it 25-19. The Eagles left little doubt in the second set as they jumped out to an early 5-1 edge. After a Gardner-Webb timeout, the Bulldogs battled back to get within one at 8-7, but that was as close as they got. Winthrop took the next three points to go up 11-7 and didn't look back. Winthrop took set two 25-16.
"Our passing was led by Janice Rivera, Kaley Viola and Shannon Sitzmann, and that gave us the opportunity to set our middles and right sides," Polhamus said.
Winthrop's next match will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 when it travels to Presbyterian to take on the Blue Hose. It will be Winthrop's first road contest in 21 days.