ASHEVILLE, NC – Cindi Miller led a balanced UNC Asheville attack with 14 kills to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-0 victory over visiting Mercer in non-conference volleyball action at Justice Center Tuesday night. The home team won the match 25-9, 25-21, 25-13.
The victory ended a three-game Asheville (13-10) losing streak. Mercer (11-15) saw its five-game winning streak snapped. The Bulldogs never trailed in any of the sets.
Miller hit .375 for the match as she had 14 kills in 32 attempts with just two errors. Kelsey Benorden added eight kills and 10 digs. She also had four service aces. Sophomore Chelsie Kenley had nine kills and hit .571 on the evening. Setter Rachel Guinane finished with 34 assists, eight digs and six kills. Alex Stewart had a game-high 20 digs.
Mercer was led by Amiee Frtchey and Jamie Duffy with nine kills each. Charlotte Harris had 15 digs.
“It was nice to play at home and it was good to get a win,” commented Bulldog coach Julie Torbett. “We played a little better tonight as we went with a little bit of a different line-up.”
The Bulldogs dominated the first set. Getting kills from five different players, Asheville raced out to a 17-3 lead. Benorden had two service aces. Kenley added two kills later in the set as Asheville won 25-9.
The second set was much tougher though Asheville led throughout. Mercer had 14 kills in the set, five from Duffy to stay within striking distance. The Bulldogs led 16-10 only to see Mercer whittle the lead to 22-20 on a kill from Duffy. Leading 23-21, the home team was able to finish the set out with a kill from Benorden and a block solo from Guinane.
In the third set, Asheville led 12-9 before the Bulldogs went on a 10-3 run to lead 22-12. Miller had three kills and a service ace during the run. The junior hitter helped finish the match off with two kills before a block from Meredith Foster and Guinane ended the match.
The Bulldogs hit .347 for the match with 43 kills, just eight errors on 101 attempts. Mercer hit .143 on the night but did out-block Asheville, 6-5.
The Bulldogs continue their six-game homestand with two key Big South Conference matches this weekend. Asheville hosts High Point Friday night at 7 p.m. and then battles Radford Saturday at 3 p.m.