ROME, Ga.—The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team dropped its final regular-season Southern Athletic Association match of the season, 3-1, Sunday afternoon to league-leading Berry College at the Cage Center in Rome, Ga.
BSC falls to 18-8 on the season and to 7-7 in SAA play. Berry improves to 21-5 overall and 13-1 in conference, avenging their only conference loss, which was handed to them by BSC on Oct. 5 in Birmingham.
The Panthers came out on the attack in the first set after kills from senior Alex Bothe and junior Kathleen Pfitzer, accompanied by a service ace from junior Katie O'Bar, gave BSC an early 4-2 lead. Berry responded with a 10-1 run that would spark them to the 25-14 opening set victory.
Set two was a close affair with neither team enjoying a lead of more than three points until late in the frame. BSC pulled to within two late after a kill from junior Meredith Lee, one of her team-high 10 on the afternoon, brought the score to 21-19. Berry would pull away scoring the final four points to earn the 25-19 set victory.
The Panthers claimed an early lead in the next set, powered by two straight kills from freshman Laura Van Peursem at the onset, in a set in which they would never trail. Berry would respond with two points to tie the set at two points apiece. BSC came back with five straight points to take a lead that would never be smaller than two for the rest of the set. A kill from Berry late brought the score to 23-19, but a Pfitzer kill and Berry attack error sealed the 25-19 set win for the Panthers.
Berry used four runs of three consecutive points or more to take the final set 25-12.
"Today Berry was the better team," Head Coach Judy Green said. "We fought hard all day but just could not find a way to score points in a row. Now that our regular season's body of work is complete we look forward to preparing for the post-season. This is one determined group to get to the top of the mountain. The true fun starts now."
BSC closes out the regular season with a trip to Memphis, Tenn., for the Rhodes Classic on Saturday, Nov. 2. The Panthers will take on Mississippi College at 11 a.m. and follow the match up with another at 1 p.m. against Martin Methodist.