Oct. 2—FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. — Emmanuel hit better than .305 at the net on the way to capturing the first two sets of the evening, and then held off a last-gasp rally by the UNC Pembroke volleyball team on the way to a 3-1 (20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25) victory over the Braves on Friday evening.
The setback effectively snapped an eight-match winning streak for the Braves (12-6, 5-1 CC) who had won 15-straight sets heading into the weekend. The triumph snapped a two-game skid for the Lions (5-9, 3-1) who improved to 3-1 this season at home as well. The loss put an end to a five-match road win streak for the Black & Gold as well.
Kaila Crowder and Shannon Skryd each had 10 kills for UNCP; Skryd also had 15 digs. Katie Pressley, who was named Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Month Friday, had 31 assists and Elise Martin had 18 digs.
The sides split the first six points of the opening set before Emmanuel strung together four-straight points to take the lead for good. UNCP fought off a six-point deficit and pulled to within two points, 18-16, thanks to a service ace off of the hands of Brianna Warren, but the Lions tacked up six of the next eight points to give themselves a set-point opportunity, and won 25-20.
The Braves hit just .040 in the second set and committed four service errors in the second set as Emmanuel swung the evening's momentum completely to their side. UNCP trailed by just three points, 14-11, near the midway point, but the Lions put together a 6-1 run to distance themselves for good, winning 25-18.
UNCP finally got on the board with a hard-fought victory in the third set, scoring five of the last seven points to slice its match deficit in half. Emmanuel went out in front by three points, 17-14, following a kill from Emily Hanson, but the Black & Gold put up five of the next seven points to even up the set at 19 points apiece. The squads traded blows before the Braves strung together four-straight points to give themselves a 24-21 lead. The Lions fought off a pair of set-point situations, but an attack error by the hosts ultimately decided it at 25-23.
Emmanuel hit .406 at the net in the fourth and final set, but needed a late run to close out the night. The Braves led by one point, 14-13, following a service ace from Shannon Skryd, but Emmanuel answered with a 5-1 run to go out in front for good. The visitors scored two-straight points to make it a 23-20 set and force an Emmanuel timeout, but the Lions came out of the break and used a kill from Aleksandra Hamuda and block assists from Gabi Reagan and Alaina Emminger to deal the final blows, winning 25-20.
Emmanuel has now won two-straight meetings in a 3-match-old series with the Braves that dates back to the 2016 campaign. UNCP captured a 5-set victory over the Lions in the first-ever matchup between the squads at the 2016 Francis Marion Invitational. The series has yet to see a matchup in Pembroke.
The Braves will close out a short two-match road swing on Saturday when they head to Due West, S.C., to take on Erskine (4-12, 1-3 CC) inside Belk Arena. First serve is slated for noon.