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Cheyenne Clonch
Cheyenne Clonch led the Bears with 11 kills.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Drops Season Opener to Valdosta State

Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball battled but fell to Valdosta St. 3-1 in the 2023 season opener. LR hosted the Blazers in a round robin tournament and will have three more home contests this weekend. Cheyenne Clonch led LR with 11 kills in the contest and Kalee Peter had nine kills and six blocks.

The Bears had a sluggish start in the opening set as the Blazers jumped out to an early lead. Emmaleigh Allen had five kills and five digs in the opening frame but Valdosta took a 25-20 win. LR hit .087 to open the match compared to a .171 clip from the visitors.
VSU would stay hot in the second set, grabbing a 2-0 lead thanks to a 25-18 victory. The Blazers hit .455 in the frame with 18 kills and just three errors.

The Bears would come back with a strong third set to make it 2-1. Leah Hinceman keyed a victory with three kills in the set as LR ran out to a 9-4 advantage and didn’t look back. The Bears tallied five blocks in the set and outhit the Blazers .273 to .029.

LR trailed 18-13 late in the fourth set but came roaring back. An attack error by Valdosta St. made it 21-20 but the Blazers grabbed back-to-back points and would eventually clinch the contest with a 25-21 final.

Lyndsie Warren added a team-high 12 digs and Rachel Wildermuth handed out 20 assists.

The Blazers were led by 12 kills apiece from Mackenzie Murray and Christina Pettigrew.

This was the third all-time meeting between the two programs. LR entered 2-0 all-time against the Blazers.

This was the first time LR opened a full season at home since opening the 2009 slate with five straight at home. LR did open the COVID-shortened spring season with a home match against Tusculum in the spring of 2021.

This was the 464th all-time home game for LR.