Bothe leads Panthers past Sewanee with 27 kills in five-set victory

Alex Bothe (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Alex Bothe (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

SEWANEE, Tenn.—Senior Alex Bothe led a strong Birmingham-Southern offensive effort today with 27 kills as the Panther volleyball team defeated Sewanee in five sets on the road.

BSC moves to 12-4 overall and 2-3 in the Southern Athletic Association; the Tigers fall to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in the SAA.

Bothe was impressive with her 27 kills, and also added 14 digs for a double-double. The 27 kills puts her at second on the all-time list for a five-set match. She also hit well with only five errors for a .489 attack percentage. Junior Meredith Lee also recorded 18 kills and hit .263, and had 12 digs for a double-double as well. Sophomore setter Emily Dang led with 32 assists, followed closely by sophomore Katie McCormack with 27, and sophomore libero Lauren Bedford had 14 digs.

BSC won the first set but it was close the whole way and went down to the wire, with the Panthers winning 27-25 on a kill by junior Katie O'Bar. Sewanee came back and won the second set fairly easily, using a 6-0 run after the 12-12 mark to go up 18-12, and then out-scoring BSC down the stretch 7-4 to win 25-16 and even the match at 1-1.

The Panthers pulled out to a 6-1 lead to open the third set and led the whole way, eventually scoring five straight points at the end to win 25-14 on one of Bothe's kills. BSC started the fourth set strong, too, going up 15-9, but the Tigers used a 13-2 run to pull ahead 22-17 and won 25-20 to send the match to the fifth set.

Set five started as close as the come, with the teams playing to five ties before BSC used a 6-1 run to go up 11-6. The Panthers held onto the five-point lead and won 15-10 on another kill by Bothe.

BSC returns home next weekend, facing Berry on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Oglethorpe on Sunday at 1 p.m., both in Bill Battle Coliseum.