BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—With a thrilling 28-26 come-from-behind win in the fourth set to clinch the 3-1 victory, the Birmingham-Southern volleyball team upended league-leading Hendrix College Saturday afternoon in Bill Battle Coliseum.
The Panthers, playing at home for the first time since Aug. 30, move to 12-6 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Warriors fall to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the SAA, breaking a nine-match win streak dating back to Sept. 6.
Hendrix won the first set, 25-21, despite the Panthers keeping it close the whole time as the teams played to 10 ties up to the 13-13 mark. BSC pulled ahead 18-14 after that before the Warriors used a 7-1 run to pull ahead 21-19. Hendrix then out-scored the Panthers 4-2 down the stretch to win the set by four points.
The second set was tied early on, 4-4, and BSC was able to pull ahead 12-7 after that, but Hendrix responded with six straight points to take a 13-12 lead. The Panthers responded in turn with a 5-1 run to pull ahead 17-14 and kept the lead for the rest of the set, winning 25-19 on a kill by sophomore Lynsie Byrd.
The Panthers dominated in the third set, pulling out to a quick 8-2 lead and then holding off a Hendrix rally, allowing the Warriors to only come as close as three points, 15-12, before out-scoring them 10-4 after that to win 25-16.
It looked like Hendrix would split the match at 2-2 in the fourth set when, after a back-and-forth start, the Warriors used a 9-1 run to pull ahead 15-7 and then led 22-16. BSC proceeded to score five straight points to cut it to 22-21, and the teams traded points and played to four ties up to the 26-26 mark. Two straight Hendrix attack errors sealed the Warriors' fate, with BSC winning 28-26 to clinch the victory.
Byrd led BSC with 16 kills and also had a double-double with 13 digs, as did junior setter Katie McCormack with 36 assists and 14 digs, and senior Meredith Lee with 11 kills and 12 digs. Junior libero Lauren Bedford led with 20 digs, while junior Emily Dang added 10. Senior Kathleen Pfitzer also was in double-digit digs with 12. Sophomore Laura Van Peursem led at the net with eight total blocks.
The Panthers are at home again tomorrow, continuing conference play with a 1 p.m. match against Rhodes College.