College Sports

Winthrop volleyball team struggles early, falls to Presbyterian

CLINTON -- Winthrop's volleyball team fell 3-0 in Big South Conference play to the Presbyterian Blue Hose on Friday.

Winthrop fell to 9-14 overall and 5-5 in conference play while Presbyterian improved to 7-17 overall and 4-7 in the Big South. The victory was the first for the Blue Hose in nine attempts against the Eagles.

"Presbyterian played a great match tonight," Winthrop coach Sally Polhamus said. "They passed well and were able to set all their hitters."

Winthrop was led by senior middle hitter Shannon Sitzmann, who finished with 11 kills. Freshman libero Janice Rivera led the Eagles with 13 digs.

Presbyterian was led by Kelsey McKee with 13 kills while Rachel Lewis had 39 assists and 13 digs.

The Eagles struggled offensively in the first set as they posted eight kills in addition to eight errors.

Trailing by three at 16-13, the Eagles called a timeout and worked to square the set at 17. With the set knotted at 17, the Blue Hose took the next four points to go up 21-17 and took set one from the Eagles 25-20.

Presbyterian controlled most of the second set, and a late Eagle rally fell short. The Blue Hose went up 18-8. The Eagles battled back to get within 21-15, but that was as close as they would get. Presbyterian finished off the Eagles in set two, 25-17.

Winthrop came out strong in the third set and had a 12-8 advantage over the Blue Hose. Presbyterian battled back to get within 16-14, but Winthrop increased its lead back to 19-15. Presbyterian took five of the next six points to square the set at 20. Winthrop had set point at 24-23 but was unable to capitalize as the Blue Hose took the last three points to take set three 26-24 and the match 3-0.

"We started playing in set three but were unable to finish," Polhamus said.

As a team, the Eagles hit .114 with 37 kills, 36 assists, 41 digs and four team blocks. Presbyterian hit .243 with 41 kills, 39 assists, 45 digs and two team blocks