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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: FMU volleyball outlasts Barton in 5 sets

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WILSON, N.C. – Middle blocker Kalee Peter’s 15 kills paced four Francis Marion University players in double digits, while setter Kaylee Gillespie recorded another significant milestone as the Patriots outlasted Barton College in five sets (21-25, 25-14, 25-15, 22-25, 15-11) on Tuesday in Conference Carolinas volleyball action.

Francis Marion improves to 7-6 overall and evens its conference mark at 2-2. The Patriots will play host to the University of Mount Olive on Friday at 6 p.m. and Chowan University on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Following Peter was outside hitter Lexi Albright with 14 kills, 14 digs, and six service aces, while Katie Kemp tallied 10 kills and 12 digs, and Carolina Lucas 10 kills and three blocks.

Gillespie handed out 42 assists and in the process moved past Nicole Bennett and into sixth place on the program’s career assists list with 1,821. The Pickens native also dug up 15 balls and served five aces. Libero Zoie Larkins registered a team-high 16 digs.

After dropping the opening set, FMU hit .521 as a team and never trailed in the second set. That set saw the Patriots score the first five points and register a 10-1 run midway through the set.

Francis Marion trailed 8-7 in the third set, but used a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good. Barton won a hard-fought fourth set that included an amazing 17 ties.


Coker sets 2 program records on final

day of Savannah Lakes Invitational

MCCORMICK—The Coker University women’s golf team set two new program records on the final day of the Savannah Lakes Invitational on Tuesday.

The Cobras finished tied for seventh in the tournament.

Coker turned in a team score of 301 on the second day, good for a new program record for team low round versus par (+13), surpassing the mark of 303 (+15) at the 2018 Patsy Rendleman Invitational. For the tournament, the Cobras shot 605 as a team, breaking the program record for a 36-hole team score of 614 also from the 2018 Patsy Rendleman Invitational.

“What a fantastic way to start the season,” coach John Hackney said. “I could not be more proud of our ladies. They hung with some of the best teams in the country en route to shattering the single-day and 36-hole school scoring records.We have a wonderful blend of talent on this year’s squad, and their chemistry and energy are evident and effective. They have learned to shake off the bad shots and just rely on their ability to bounce back quickly. We were second in the field in birdies with 23 and did a good job, for the most part, of staying away from big numbers.”

Daniella Gyoni led the way for the Cobras today with a +1 score of 73 to finish tied for ninth individually, with her combined 147 for the tournament (+3) being tied for the program’s second-lowest 36-hole score all-time (Alyssa Campbell, 2019 Coker Women’s Invitational). Jenna Werle and Lora Ledbetter each shaved 10 strokes off of yesterday’s scores, turning in a 75 (+3) and a 76 (+4) respectively. Kathleen Escobar carded a 77 (+5), while Mack Taylor Bailey also recorded an 80 (+8) on the second day.

“Daniella was stellar in her Coker debut,” Hackney said. “She only made one birdie today but had 15 pars in an exceptionally steady round. Her 74-73-147 ties the second-best individual 36-hole performance in school history and she landed a Top-10 right out of the gate, which was awesome. Daniella, grad student Kathleen Escobar and transfer Mack Taylor Bailey injected new life into the lineup and hit some superb shots over the two days. I was so very, very proud of our returnees, senior Jenna Werle and sophomore Lora Ledbetter, who bettered their Monday scores by 10 shots apiece to post 75 and 76, respectively.

“Werle rattled in three straight birdies to finish the front nine, and Ledbetter was machine-like in hitting fairways and greens. This team has a lot of talent and is focused on performing at a high level while having fun. Our quest for ‘Excellence’ has begun, and it should be a fantastic journey.”

The Cobras return to action on Oct. 3 at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational at the Country Club of Salisbury in Salisbury, N.C.

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