Colonels knock off Hendrix in five sets
DANVILLE, Ky. – After a three-match losing streak on the road, the Centre volleyball team returned to Alumni gym for their second contest against the Hendrix Warriors, who defeated the Colonels in five sets in September. Just like in the first match in Conway, the match went the full five sets. Unlike the first match in Conway, this time it was the Colonels who made the clutch plays in the end and came away with a 3-2 win.
In the opening set, Centre grabbed an early 12-4 lead before the Warriors utilized an 11-1 run to take the lead. The Colonels would cut the lead to a single point on two separate occasions, but could not get over the hump as Hendrix took a 25-21 win and a 1-0 lead.
The second set was a back and forth affair, with neither team able to lead by more than four points. Hendrix forced a set point at 24-21 as they looked to take a 2-0 lead, but Centre proved to be tough to put away. Sophomores Peyton Vacala (Savannah, Ga.) and Bailey Vernon (Old Hickory, Tenn.) put together a string of kills to put Centre up 25-24, and then Vacala combined with sophomore Keeley Morton (Bristol, Tenn.) on a tandem block to even the match at 1-1 with a 26-24 Centre victory.
The Colonels carried the momentum into the third set, stringing together a set of improbable kills to take the lid midway through the set and never looking back, taking a 2-1 lead as Morton put the final kill home on a 25-18 Centre win.
The fourth set was another close one, with neither team gaining much traction throughout the set. With the score tied at 20-20, the Warriors made their move, scoring five out of the final six points to take a 25-20 win and push the match to the brink.
In the fifth set, fatigue became a factor for both teams as the Colonels and Warriors struggled to put together strings of consecutive points. With the score tied at 13-13, freshman Savanna Roper (Hendersonville, N.C.) came through with a clutch kill and one Hendrix error later, the Colonels took the match with a 15-13 victory.
Senior Hailey Foote (Prospect, Ky.) paced the Colonels with 12 kills in the match. Roper and Vacala each added 11 kills, while Bailey Vernon had a career high ten kills. Freshman Kylie Cochran (Buckner, Ky.) had 46 assists, matching her season high and finishing with as many as the entire Hendrix team. Senior Morgan Babey (LaGrange, Ky.) had a game high 24 digs, with Foote, Vacala and senior Zoe Doubles (Troutville, Va.) each finishing with double digits in digs.
The Colonels will face the Rhodes Lynx on Sunday at noon in Alumni Gym. The Colonels fell to the Lynx in a five-set heartbreaker in Memphis in September.