HARTSVILLE, S.C.—The Tusculum women's volleyball team swept the Coker Cobras Friday night to take the season series over the South Carolina team. The Black and Orange finished with a season-high hitting percentage due in part to multiple players hitting over .380.
The Pioneers (13-12, 10-9 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-20, 26-24, 25-15 over the Cobras (6-18, 3-16 SAC). With the victory, Tusculum moves to 11-4 all-time over Coker.
Emily Everton led Coker with eight kills, while 14 of the 27 assists were dished out by Ashley Carson. Olivia Cerick notched two service aces and Camryn Tate added 18 digs. Chelsey Blume collected two block assists, with four teammates combining for two total blocks.
Emiah Burrowes fired off 19 kills, followed by Tatum Thornton’s 10. Thornton notched her second double-digit outing in the last three games, alongside a scorching .769 hitting percentage with no errors on 13 swings. Gabby Gray and Taylor Blythe also had an impressive night with eight kills and no errors on a .381 clip and seven kills with just one error on a .500 tear, respectively. Elise Carmichael led the setting pair with 26 assists, while Alyssa Rojas dished 19 dimes. At the service line, Carly Sosnowski collected a match-high three aces, just ahead of Burrowes with a pair.
Defensively, Sosnowski racked up 15 digs, with Gray behind at eight. At the net, Blythe, Thornton, and Carli Pigza notched two total blocks. Blythe contributed a solo block and a block assists, while Thornton and Pigza added a pair of block assists.
Coker hit .185 as a team with 28 kills and 11 attack errors in 92 total attempts. Tusculum hit .377, the highest mark of the season, with 52 kills, 12 errors and 106 total attacks. The Pioneers led the Cobras in assists (49-27), digs (49-39), aces (7-5), and total blocks (4-3).
The Pioneers started out the night hot, hitting .469 in the first set. Eight swings from Burrowes found their way to the court in the frame, along with four from Gray. The teams traded points until Tusculum hit a groove at the 7-6 mark, down by one. Of the next 13 points, 11 belonged to the visitors, bringing the score to 17-9 in Tusculum’s favor. Coker did not give up, as they were able to climb back to a five-point set loss.
Set number two seemed to swing to Coker’s advantage after shooting out to a 9-4 lead. Tusculum creeped up to take the 13-12 lead on three consecutive kills by Burrowes. The lead stretched to 19-15 after six-straight tallies in the Pioneers’ point column. The Cobras responded with a six-point run of their own to hold a 21-19 advantage. The foes traded points until the final tie at 24-all. Kills from Blythe and Gray silenced the crowd and gave set two to the Pioneers. Sosnowski recorded over half of her kills in the frame with eight.
Tusculum never looked back after taking a 7-6 lead in set three, finishing the frame with a .483 hitting percentage. Six of the next seven points were earned by the Pioneers, before the Cobras closed the gap to four at 17-13. The Black and Orange withstood the slight run by Coker, notching eight of the final 10 points. Blythe put the exclamation mark on the match with a kill to seal the sweep.
Tusculum continues the Carolina road trip on Saturday, with a swing to the north to face the one-loss Wingate Bulldogs at 2pm.