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Ashley Hawkins
Ashley Hawkins had 10 kills and 12 digs for the Bears.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

L-R Volleyball Falls to SAC Leader, Wingate

A marathon third-set victory swung the momentum in Wingate’s favor as the visitor ran their winning streak to 22 in a row with a 3-1 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne in front of a spirited LR crowd. The win keeps the Bulldogs undefeated in conference play.

Wingate overcame an early LR onslaught to take the first set 25-20. The Bears fed off the home crowd and scored 10 of the first 12 points in the frame but the Bulldogs came all the way back and took the set.

Undeterred, LR came back in set number two and again ran out to a big lead. Up 15-7, the Bears had to witness another comeback attempt from WU. The Bulldogs scored seven unanswered to make it 15-14 and then used a 4-0 run down 24-19 to stave off set point. Ashley Hawkins would end the run with a kill to knot the match at one.

The third set was a marathon that saw 38 total kills, 66 points and eight set points for the Bears but it was Wingate who walked away with the dramatic 34-32 win. The 64 points scored in the third set is the most since the Bears and Newberry combined for a 32-30 set score a season ago.

The Bears simply ran out of gas after the third set heartbreaker and Wingate hit .452 to take the final frame 25-9.

Hawkins had 12 kills and 13 digs for the Bears and Colette Romp had 11 kills. Emmaleigh Allen had 11 digs and Mackenzie Hulsey finished with 36 assists and 16 digs. Bailey Carpenter added 18 digs.

Molly Lambillotte had 16 kills and Shannon Kasprak had 52 assists and 24 digs for Wingate.

Hawkins added three more aces after breaking the single-game record with nine against Coker on Wednesday. Braelyn Faust’s eight blocks are tied for the fourth-most in the past five years. The 177 attempts for LR are the seventh-most in the past five years in a four-set contest.

The Bears are 14-8 overall, 10-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR will return home to host UNC Pembroke on Tuesday at 6 p.m.