The UNCP volleyball team headed to the Tullis Arena in Orangeburg, S.C. to take on the Panthers of Claflin University on Oct. 2. Their 3-0 win marked the first time this season in which the Braves have secured consecutive victories. The Braves got eight service aces and four blocks on the night to improve to 5-0 all-time against the Panthers.
In the first set Claflin started out hot with an 8-2 run, then an error by the Braves helped the Panthers get a 19-13 advantage. The Black and Gold then came back and took a one-point lead 23-22 lead. After receiving a bad set, aided by an error by the Panthers, UNCP was able to win this set with a kill from freshman Brianna Warren.
The second set started in similar fashion to the first set with Claflin jumping out to an 5-2 advantage. The Braves would respond by scoring seven straight points of their own to get out in front. The Panthers would regain the lead 14-13, but the Black and Gold would answer with three straight points to recapture the lead. The Braves would close out the second set with a late 5-0 run to secure the victory.
In the final set UNCP had an early lead but Claflin scored four straight points to take a 18-17 lead. The Braves recorded five of the next six points to snatch the lead back. The Panthers brought the set within a point at 23-22 thanks to an UNCP attack error. However, the Black and Gold would clinch the set with a service ace and a kill.
The ability to close the tight third set was an encouraging sign for UNCP, who at times have struggled in pressure situations during sets. The Panthers pulled within a few points of stealing the set but the Braves remained poised and clinched their victory in a clean sweep, not allowing a comeback.
Warren lead the team in kills with 10 as well as the lead in blocks with two. Senior Baille Jones continued to lead the team in assists with 27. Junior Anna Heinz and freshman Shannon Skryd tied for the team lead with eight digs a piece. Freshman Hannah Talliere was responsible for a team high three service aces.
The Braves look to build on the momentum gained from the back-to-back wins as they continue through the latter part of their season.