BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Despite a season-best 19 kills from freshman Brooke Kelley, Campbell dropped a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23) decision to Big South foe Winthrop Friday night inside the Pope Center.
Kelley's 19 scores are the most by a Camel freshman since Emily Werner (23 at North Carolina A&T, 11/7/07) and Taylor Deering (22 vs. Norfolk State, 9/8/07) both hit the mark in 2007.
WU moves to 12-6 on the season and 5-1 in conference matches, while Campbell dips to 9-13 overall and 2-4 in Big South play.
Winthrop middle Becca Toor posted a match-high 20 kills, committing just one error on 34 swings for a .559 hitting percentage, adding three blocks. Junior outside hitter Carolyn Weed tacked on 12 kills, while freshman middle Jennica Mullins posted 11 scores. Sophomore setter Stephanie Palmer registered 51 assists, 11 digs, seven kills and three blocks.
Kristin Cruse and Brittany Blackman totaled seven kills apiece, with Cruse adding 11 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Catherine Brusie collected a match-high 27 digs in the win.
Kelley's 19 kills set a season-best for the rookie, upping her personal-best for a third consecutive match. Kelley, a Stafford, Va. native, tacked on seven digs and four blocks, also season-highs. Junior outside hitter Ally Russo gathered a season-high 11 kills with nine digs. Senior middle Annie Kobeski was a third Camels in double figures with 11 kills to go along with nine digs.
Sophomore setter Heather Wilson piled up a career-high 46 assists with 12 digs and two aces. The Concord, N.C. native also matched a career-best with seven kills. Senior defensive specialist Kelsey Campbell also posted 17 digs while senior Lauren Garza totaled 13, a season-high.
The Camels came away with a first set win behind Kelley's five kills and Kobeski's four, edging the Eagles 25-23.
In the second, however, Winthrop claimed the 25-23 win to knot the match at 1-all, as Toor gathered six kills. Cruse, Blackman and Weed tacked on four for the Eagles in the second stanza to top the Camels, who hit a stellar .341 (17-2-44) with Russo and Kelley registering six kills each in the loss.
After WU led wire to wire in the third to claim a 25-18 win and a 2-1 set lead, the Camels pushed to lead it 22-17 in the fourth set. The Eagles, however, mounted a 5-1 run to knot the set at 23-all on a CU attack error, and sealed the win with a Carly DeBruhl ace.
The Camels will be back in action tomorrow in Buies Creek, hosting Presbyterian at 2 p.m.