FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga - The Emmanuel College women's volleyball team hosted the Barton College Bulldogs on Tuesday night. The East Division #2 seed Lions faced the West Division #3 seed Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Conference Carolinas playoffs.
In the first set, Emmanuel got off to a hot start. After being down 2-1, the Lions scored 8 unanswered points to take a 7 point lead. The Bulldogs fought their way back into the game, but were unable to fully recover as Emmanuel took the first set, 25-21.
The Bulldogs continued to fight back as they matched pace with the Lions throughout the second set. Eventually Barton was able to pull away and take the set, 25-20.
The third set continued in the same fashion, with the two teams trading points until Barton led by two, 20-18. Senior Jessica Gray proceeded to have two service aces in three serves for the Lions, combining with an error from the Bulldogs to give Emmanuel the lead, 21-20. However, the Bulldogs came back to win the set 25-23 after a kill from Kaytlin Elkins and errors from the Lions.
Now down 2-1, the Lions rebounded in the fourth, dominating their way through the set to keep their tournament hopes alive. Barton was unable to keep up as the Lions took the set 25-12.
A trip to the Conference Carolinas semifinals now came down to the fifth set as Emmanuel looked to defend their 2018 conference title. The Lions stepped up to the challenge and immediately took control, gaining an early lead and never looking back. Kills from seniors Jessica Gray and Mia McKensey propelled the Lions to a 13-9 lead. Sophomore Kaitlyn Henderson came in to serve, scoring a clutch service ace that put the Lions one point away from advancing. The game was sealed by sophomore Mia Cotton, who had her 7th kill of the night to give Emmanuel the victory, 15-10.
With this victory the Lions will advance to the Conference Carolinas Semifinals on Saturday, November 23rd, at 7:30 PM. The game will be hosted by the Belmont Abbey Crusaders.
For more on Emmanuel College athletics, visit goeclions.com.