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Lander earns sweeps over Barton, Queens to finish weekend

Lander earns sweeps over Barton, Queens to finish weekend

AIKEN, S.C. – The Lander volleyball team finished the USC Aiken Invitational with a pair of wins as Lander knocked off Barton and Queens on Saturday in a pair of 3-0 matches. The Bearcats defeated the Bulldogs 25-11, 25-23, 25-22 and topped the Royals 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.  

Lander (10-2) cruised through the first set against Barton (3-10), but had to rally from a 14-8 deficit in set two. The Bearcats battled back to tie the score at 23-23, then clinched the set with consecutive kills from Kyra Ross and Hannah Hritz. Lander held a 23-19 lead in the third set and had to endure a late charge from Barton before Hritz ended the match with a kill. 

Hritz, who hit .500 for the match, and Kaitlyn Krafka led all players with 14 kills each, while Madilyn Reed recorded 36 assists and 18 digs. Hannah McManus finished with 17 digs.

Against Queens (5-4), Krafka posted her fifth consecutive double-double with 14 kills and 21 digs, both team-highs. Reed tallied 37 assists in the win. 

Lander broke open a 16-16 with nine of the final 11 points in the first set to take an early lead. The Royals stormed out to a 4-0 lead in set two, but the Bearcats quickly erased the deficit with five straight points of their own and fought their way to a 25-18 win to move ahead 2-0. In the third set, it was Lander that grabbed an early 9-2 lead before Queens rallied to knot the score at 19-19. With the Bearcats clinging to a 22-21 lead, Krafka took over, scoring three of the match's final four points to punctuate the sweep for Lander. 

The Bearcats' next match will come on Tuesday, Sept. 18, when Lander hosts Limestone in Finis Horne Arena.