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Volleyball: Blue Raiders upset by Wildcats in thriller

At the Biggers Sports Center, the Lindsey Wilson volleyball team played into nearly the same scenario as it had the previous night, racing ahead two sets to one before being forced into a tiebreaking-fifth frame. On Saturday afternoon, however, things did not swing the Blue Raiders' way in the deciding set, as the visiting Wildcats of Bethel University (TN) got the edge they needed to pull off the tense victory.

Despite a season-best 14 service aces and the advantage on overall attack percentage, the locals were relentlessly out-killed 61-49, including 8-5 in the final set.

Alexis Smith posted a team-high 13 successful attacks for Lindsey Wilson, while Embry Burgess, Alix Stoermer, and Natalie Ackermann each put forth at least three aces.

As mentioned previously, the scoreline began looking more and more reminiscent of the Blue Raiders' Friday night contest against Freed-Hardeman, as Bethel opened up a seven-point lead in the first frame with the help of a little service magic of their own. The locals' efforts to climb back into contention fell five points short, and the 'Cats struck first, 25-20.

An 11-5 run midway through the following set allowed Lindsey Wilson to pull away and draw the match level, 25-21.

Then, in the third set, the home side went to work from the service line, beginning with three tallies from Burgess to help push the Raiders ahead 5-1. Not long after, the combo of Smith and Stoermer got the offense rocking with a trio of kills to extend the lead to 10-4. After a small rally by the Wildcats to trim the deficit, Stoermer stepped up to the line and laid down three consecutive service aces to give all control to Lindsey Wilson, who closed the set convincingly, 25-12.

The fourth frame featured a handful of back-and-forth competition, but a 5-1 run by Bethel snuck them in front for good to ultimately send the Blue Raiders into their second five-set affair in as many days.

The two rivals traded small scoring stretches to begin the fifth set, eventually drawing even at 8-8. From there, the visitors turned up the tempo and outscored the hosts 7-4 to clinch the win.

All told, Lindsey Wilson improved on its hitting percentage from the night before to finish with a mark of 0.224, but the 'Cats proved more effective on the attack, dropping the Blue Raiders to 6-8 on the year overall and 2-2 in conference play.

The locals continue a five-match homestand on September 21 with the season's first edition of the "Battle of Highway 55" against Campbellsville University at 6 p.m. CST.

This story was posted on 2022-09-18 13:35:14
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