Volleyball takes five-set thriller vs. Indiana State

Jessica Groen   (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Jessica Groen (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)

@GoCamelsVB | Follow GoCamelsVB on Facebook | Tournament Page

BUIES CREEK, N.C. - A pair of kills by junior outside Jessica Groen (Las Cruces, N.M.) set up match point for Campbell, and an aggressive attack by senior setter Heather Wilson (Concord, N.C.) fell in a vacant area of the defense to clinch a 3-2 (26-28, 25-23, 20-25, 25-17, 18-16) come-from-behind victory over Indiana State on Friday night.

Campbell improved to 2-0 at the Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Invitational and 4-2 overall, while Indiana State fell to 3-2 on the campaign. The Camels wrap up the event at Gore Arena/John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against Georgetown.

Defense was the motto for the Camels as sophomore libero Mary Crema (Loveland, Ohio) registered 31 digs and the team posted 11 blocks, paced by senior middle blocker Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C.) with seven. Even though the Sycamores registered more digs, 92-82, it was the opportunistic Campbell defense that kept long rallies alive as the match progressed.

A double-double with 14 kills and 12 digs was compiled by sophomore outside Alexis Hein (Murrieta, Calif.). Groen terminated a team-best 17 attacks followed by junior middle blocker Lorin Thomas (Raleigh, N.C.) with 10. 

The offense clicked all night due to the poise of Wilson, who totaled 45 assists, 13 digs and eight kills. Eight kills were also contribued by sophomore outside Katelyn Layden (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and Coats. 

Morgan Dall registered a double-double with 22 kills and 13 digs to lead Indiana State. Setter Loni Mackinson posted 45 assists and 13 digs. A 14-kill performance was added by Bree Spangler, while Molly Murphy paced the Sycamores with 28 digs.

There were 29 ties and 12 lead changes throughout the match with the first set being the most competive with 12 ties and four lead changes. 

With the Sycamores holding a 13-10 advantage mid-way through the first stanza, Crema served up five-consecutive points to put the Camels into the lead for the first time during the contest. 

Neither team would be able to string together more than two points till the end of the set when an ace followed by a Dill kill provided the Sycamores a 28-26 victory.

Campbell rebounded immediately by opening the second set on a 10-3 run following a kill by Layden. A 5-1 rally towards the end of the frame placed Indiana State into the lead, 21-20, prior to a kill by Wilson.

A pair of mistakes on the attack for the Sycamores ended the set, 25-23, in favor of the home team.

Hein stepped up in the third and fourth sets recording 10 kills without a mistake as the squads split the frames. Indiana State went up, 2-1, before Campbell fired back with a 25-17 victory to tie the match at two.

The first portion of the fifth set was controlled by the Camels as they fed off the home crowd, 8-2. The Sycamores continued to battle and eventually took an 11-10 advantage.

Tie scores were registered at points 11-16 before Campbell clinched the match with three-consecutive points, 18-16.