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Ashley Hawkins
Ashley Hawkins had 11 kills and was one of two Bears to have 11 kills.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Opens Season Splitting Matches With Barton, USC-Aiken

The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team opened the 2022 season at USC Aiken with a pair of matches. The Bears swept Barton in the opener but fell to host USC Aiken in straight sets in the night cap.

In the 3-0 sweep over Barton, it was the first meeting between these two programs since 2005, and the Bears ran away with a 3-0 sweep. Ashley Hawkins was the standout in the match, notching a double-double with team highs in kills (14) and digs (13). Her 13 digs put Hawkins over 1,400 on her career as she entered the contest with 1,388 career digs, fourth in program history.

In her LR debut, Bailey Carpenter notched 13 digs and a pair of service aces for the Bears who won by scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-20.

Colette Romp finished with nine kills and added a pair of blocks while Emma Clark added seven kills and a team-high three blocks. Mackenzie Hulsey just missed a double-double with 25 assists and nine digs.

LR held a .272-.155 hitting percentage in the match and each team finished with 14 attack errors. LR hit a scorching .462 in the third set to secure the sweep and only committed one error.

In the 3-0 loss to USC-Aiken, the turning point of the finale came in the second set. The Bears scored the first six points of the frame and held a 9-1 advantage but the hosts clawed back. After LR took a 16-9 lead, the Pacers battled all the way back to tie it at 24.

It was back-and-forth in the closing moments of the set but Aiken would eventually outlast LR with a 31-29 win to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Aiken would close out the sweep with a 25-21 third set victory.

Hawkins once again led LR in kills, totaling nine. Emmaleigh Allen and Rompe each had seven. Hulsey finished with 25 assists and 14 digs.

The Bears are 1-1 to begin the season and will open up South Atlantic Conference play on Tuesday when they travel to Coker for a 6 p.m. contest