CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Lander volleyball team opened its season with a pair of victories over Grand Valley State and Queens on day one of the Queens Fall Classic. The Bearcats knocked off GVSU 20-25, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13 and defeated the hosts 12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 26-24.
Lander (2-0) faces Belmont Abbey at 12:15 p.m. and Converse at 4:45 on Saturday.
Against Grand Valley State, Kyra Ross had 14 kills and 15 digs, while Hannah Hritz paced the Bearcats with 18 kills on .306 hitting. Madilyn Reed added 42 assists, while Hannah McManus notched a team-high 24 digs. Boo Luther finished with 15 digs in the match.
Grand Valley State (0-1) won the first set before Lander bounced back to take sets two and three. Set two saw the Bearcats take advantage of four Laker attack errors in 11 points to key a 10-1 run and pull away to even the match. In set three, the Bearcat broke an 18-18 deadlock with four consecutive points and held on to move ahead 2-1.
After the Lakers claimed set four, Lander stormed to an 11-3 lead in the decisive set and took a 14-6 lead before withstanding a furious Laker rally. GVSU rattled off seven consecutive points to pull to within one before Reilly Kuenstler's kill clinched the match.
In the second of the day, Queens (1-1) claimed the opening set, but the Bearcats closed strong in the second set with six of the final 10 points to tie the match at 1-1. Kills from Deona Mims and Ross broke a 23-23 tie in the third set to put Lander up 2-1 and the Bearcats rallied from down 24-23 with three consecutive points in set four to seal the win.
Ross tallied her second double-double of the day with 10 kills and 11 digs, while Kuenstler and Mims each finished with 11 kills. Reed posted 40 assists, while McManus recorded 31 digs.
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