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Volleyball wins sixth straight with sweep of Centre

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team held off Centre College in three sets, Sunday afternoon, to win its sixth straight match and move to 5-0 in the Southern Athletic Association.

BSC now stands at 10-4 overall and leads the SAA standings; Centre falls to 4-9 overall and 3-2 in league play.

In the first set, although the Colonels tied it up a few times early, the Panthers would never trail and led by as much as nine, 21-12. Centre tried to rally down the stretch, out-scoring BSC 7-3 to cut it to 24-19 before a kill by junior Alex Bothe put the set away 25-19.

Centre opened the second set by going up 2-0 and the teams were neck-and-neck for the first several point exchanges. After playing to a 6-6 tie, the Colonels scored four straight to go up 10-6, but the Panthers responded with five straight points to take a 12-10 lead. Centre quickly tied it up, but BSC pulled back ahead and wouldn't trail again in the set, steadily pulling ahead to a 24-18 lead. The Colonels scored four straight points after that, cutting it to 24-22, before another Bothe kill won the set 25-22.

The third set was another close one, with the teams playing to 14 total ties. With the score tied at 17-17 - the 11th tie of the set - BSC was able to pull ahead by three, but Centre responded with a 5-1 run to go up 22-21 before the teams tied again 22-22. The Colonels pulled ahead 23-22 after that for their final lead of the match, after which the Panthers scored three straight, culminating in a kill by sophomore Kelly Foster to win the set, 25-23, and the match.

Sophomore Meredith Lee led all players with 15 kills, while Bothe recorded 11. Senior setter Lauren Reibe was impressive with 37 assists and 17 digs, and senior libero Presley Dickson had a team-high 18 digs.

"I felt like we were a little tight today," Head Coach Judy Green said. "We tried to do too much too fast in rallies, that our patience level needed to be better. The best thing that came out of today is that we stayed steady late in each set, and were very efficient in serving and playing defense the way we wanted to do it. I thought Meredith Lee had an outstanding weekend, and she just continues to mature as an outside hitter. With every opportunity that we encounter, we have a chance to grow, and I feel like we grew this weekend."

BSC is on the road for its next three matches, beginning with a trip to Atlanta this Tuesday, Sept. 25, to face No. 6 Emory at 4 p.m. ET.