ROME, Ga.—The Birmingham-Southern volleyball team picked up two wins on the road today, defeating defending Southern Athletic Association champion Berry in five sets, and Maryville College in four.
The Panthers move to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in the SAA. The Vikings drop to 5-9, 1-1, and non-conference foe Maryville drops to 8-6.
The first set was back and forth and close the whole way. After the 19-19 mark, Berry scored three straight to pull up 22-9 before BSC responded with five straight points to bring it to set point, 24-22. The Vikings scored the next point before a kill from sophomore Lynsie Byrd put it away for the Panthers, 25-23.
Set two was more of the same, but with the Vikings winning 25-23 to even the match at 1-1. The third set was also close, with Berry leading 13-12 before BSC used a 7-1 run to go up 19-14. With the Panthers leading 22-20, a Byrd kill followed by two straight service aces from junior libero Lauren Bedford gave BSC the 25-20 win to pull ahead 2-1.
The pattern of close sets and back-and-forth scoring continued in the fourth set, with Berry winning down the stretch by putting away the final two points after the teams were tied at 23-23, sending the match to a fifth set. After playing to a 9-9 tie in set five, the Panthers out-scored the Vikings 6-2, capped off by kills from senior Meredith Lee and then sophomore Laura Van Peursem, to win the set, 15-11, and the match, 3-2.
Byrd led all players with 21 kills, while senior Kathleen Pfitzer had 12 and Lee had 11. Lee also posted 17 digs for a double-double, and junior setter Katie McCormack recorded a game-high 46 assists and 18 digs. Bedford added 14 digs and junior Emily Dang posted 12. Senior Katie O'Bar was impressive at the net with nine total blocks.
In the match against Maryville, BSC won the first set handily, 25-12, before the Scots kept it closer in set two, with the Panthers winning 25-21. MC came back to claim a set after that, 25-17, before the Panthers won the match by holding off the Scots in set four, 25-23.
Byrd led again with a game-high 21 kills and hit an impressive .370, McCormack led all players with 33 assists, and Bedford had a game-high 20 digs. Van Peursem led with five total blocks.
The Panthers continue action tomorrow, facing Oglethorpe at 11 a.m. Eastern and Wesleyan College at noon Eastern in Atlanta.