Lady Bulldogs sweep first day of USC Aiken Invitational

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Following a five-match losing streak to opponents in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region, the Barton College volleyball team returned to winning ways Friday in the opening day of the USC Aiken Invitational.

The Lady Bulldogs of Conference Carolinas engineered a three-game sweep of Catawba College 27-25, 26-24, 25-23 before rallying for a four-set win over Carson-Newman University. Against the Eagles, the Lady Bulldogs (3-9) recovered from a first-set loss for a 21-25, 26-25, 25-16, 25-16 win.

Versus Carson-Newman (3-3), Barton had as many kills as it did errors in the opening set. The score was tied as late as 15-15 before Carson-Newman went on a 7-3 spurt to gain separation. A Barton attack error gave the Eagles the opening set.

However, the Lady Bulldogs came back with their best hitting performance of the match in the second set. Connecting at a .222 clip, Barton erased a 20-16 deficit in the second set with a 7-3 run.

A kill from Carson-Newman’s Katie Parnell put the Eagles on set point, but Kaytlin Elkins’ leveled it at 24. Barton obtained set point on a Carson-Newman error, and a combo block from Kelsey Riquelme and Sarah Kirk evened the match.

Barton wasn’t threatened in the third set, doubling up the Eagles 20-10 at one point. Elkins’ kill provided Barton with set point, and a Carson-Newman attack error put Barton up 2-1.

In the fourth set, the Lady Bulldogs sprinted out to another 20-10 advantage and ended the match on Angelica Acevedo’s kill.

Elkins had 15 kills for Barton, while Acevedo had 20 assists. Kirk added 17 assists.

Against Catawba, the Lady Bulldogs were extended in each of the first two sets before prevailing. Barton trailed 19-16 in the first set prior to a 6-0 run, and ties of 22-22 and 24-24 were forged.

From 25-25, consecutive kills from Riquelme ended the set.

The second set saw Barton hold off Catawba after the Lady Bulldogs seized a 10-2 lead at the outset. Catawba surged back with a 12-1 run, and a back-and-forth affair ensued until 24-24. There, Elkins supplied consecutive kills to put Barton up 2-0.

In the third set, Kirk’s kill and a Catawba attack error ensured Barton’s sweep from a 23-23 tie.

Riley Bane, a product of Fike High, finished with 17 kills against the Indians. Ashley Owen had 18 digs to pace four Lady Bulldogs in double figures. Acevedo tallied 21 assists, while Kirk had 15.

Barton concludes play in the USC Aiken Invite on Saturday with matches against Lander at 10 a.m. and the host Pacers at 7.


SALISBURY — Jovana Sanchez buried a 25-yard shot in the upper corner in the 74th minute Friday to send the Barton College women’s soccer team to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the host Indians in the Catawba Classic.

It was the first loss of 2018 for the Lady Bulldogs (2-1), while the South Atlantic Conference Indians remained unbeaten through three matches.

Barton was outshot 8-5 in the contest, with goalkeeper Megan Bolick credited with three saves in the loss. Shelby Thompson pocketed the 90-minute clean sheet for Catawba.

Barton’s Hannah Beard had a look at goal in the 87th for Barton, but the attempt sailed wide.

The Lady Bulldogs conclude play in the Catawba Classic on Sunday against Mars Hill University at 1 p.m.