TIGERVILLE, S.C. -- Junior Gracie Davis and sophomore Lexi Albright combined for 31 kills and a .403 hitting percentage as Francis Marion University came out victorious in a battle of the two Conference Carolinas division leaders, taking a 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 win over North Greenville University, Saturday afternoon (Oct. 16) in volleyball action.
FMU (15-8, 11-0) extends its century-best winning streak to 11 matches and increases its lead over second-place UNC Pembroke to two full games in the East Division standings.
The Patriots will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 23, with a home match against Barton College at 2 p.m. in the Smith University Center.
Davis notched a career-high 18 kills on only 29 swings for a blistering .552 hitting percentage. It marks her seventh consecutive match with double-digit kills. She also totaled three blocks against the Crusaders.
Albright tallied 13 kills on 33 swings as the Patriots committed only 12 attack errors in the three-set sweep.
Sophomore setter Kaylee Gillespie dished out 35 assists and freshman libero Zoie Larkins dug up a match-high 18 balls. Defensively, senior Lily Walton led FMU with four blocks.
Abigail Durham paced NGU (13-7, 8-3) with 10 kills and three blocks.
Despite trailing only once in the opening set – that at 1-0 – the Patriots could not shake the Crusaders. North Greenville crept to within 22-21 before Davis recorded a kill and then back-to-back attack errors by NGU allowed FMU to escape with a 25-21 win. The final error was the result of a Walton/Davis stuff at the net.
Francis Marion took the lead for good in set No.2 at 11-10 following a kill from Albright. A 10-4 spurt later in the set gave the Patriots a comfortable lead en route to the 25-17 victory.
The final set featured seven ties and three lead changes. The final deadlock occurred at 17-17, but two attacking errors by the Crusaders gave FMU the lead for good. The Patriots closed on a 6-3 run that was culminated by a Davis kill from a Gillespie set.