CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Lander volleyball team battled past Belmont Abbey in five sets and took down Converse in straight sets to finish the weekend unbeaten at the Queens Fall Classic. The Bearcats defeated the Crusaders 26-28, 25-10, 25-22, 22-25, 15-8, and swept the Valkyries 25-19, 25-18, 25-16.
Deona Mims led all players with 18 kills in the win over Belmont Abbey (0-3), while Kyra Ross added 16 kills and nine digs. Hannah McManus finished with 33 digs and Madilyn Reed contributed 54 assists and 11 digs.
After dropping the first set, Lander stormed to a 14-2 lead en route to a dominant second set performance. In set three, the Bearcats erased an 18-16 deficit behind six combined kills from Mims and Ross. Belmont Abbey rallied to force a fifth set, but Lander grabbed the early lead and never trailed. Reed's service ace put the Bearcats ahead 12-8 and three consecutive attack errors by the Crusaders gave Lander the victory.
Against the Valkyries (0-4), Lander used a pair of early 5-0 runs to take a lead it would not relinquish. The Bearcats trailed 2-0 in set two before scoring eight of the next 10 points to take control of the set. In the final set of the evening, the Bearcats held Converse to a -.081 hitting percentage and took advantage of nine Valkyrie errors to complete the sweep.
Three Bearcats notched double-doubles, led by Ross's 11 kills and 10 digs. Reed finished with 22 assists and 13 digs, while Maddie Moss recorded a pair of career highs with 20 assists and 11 digs. McManus led all players with 23 digs.
The Bearcats return to action next weekend when they participate in the USC Aiken Invitational. Lander faces Auburn Montgomery and Lee on Friday before taking on Florida Southern and Fayetteville State Saturday.
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