by Kevin Buczek
WILSON, N.C.-Sophomore Kaitlyn Micol had a team-best seven kills for Barton College in a 3-0 Conference Carolinas women's volleyball loss to Erskine College on Saturday afternoon in Wilson Gymnasium.
The Lady Bulldogs committed 14 reception errors in the 25-21, 25-20, 25-20 loss. Barton (3-8 Overall, 1-1 Conf.) went 1-1 on Family Weekend after opening up its home slate with a 3-1 victory over Emmanuel College on Friday.
Barton (.155) had a similar hitting percentage as Erskine (.180) but mistakes off the service game proved very costly.
Erskine (6-5, 2-0) remained undefeated in the league with seniors Caitlin Bullock and Emily Kennington pacing the Fleets charge with five aces apiece. Bullock – a two-time All-Conference First Team honoree – also chipped in six kills and seven digs for a team-high 12 points.
Junior Kelly Sullivan registered 10 kills for the victors; sophomore setter Kristen Dodge tallied a double-double of 27 assists and 11 digs; and sophomore libero Kendall Kirk made 15 digs.
Barton senior libero Amanda Grandy had a strong contest with a match-high 17 digs and three of the host's five aces.
Freshman setter Riley Bane chipped in 21 assists and eight digs while freshman Courtney Wiseman and sophomore Alex Ward each made seven digs. Junior Brittany Edwards and sophomore Shae Schmidt each factored in three blocks. Senior Melissa Cochran was held to a season-low five kills.
The Flying Fleet hit .242 in the first set and never trailed. Erskine jumped out to a 10-3 cushion before holding on for the four-point win.
The middle set proved to be the most entertaining period with 13 ties and seven lead changes. Barton held a late 19-18 lead but the Fleet closed the frame out on a 7-2 outburst that featured two kills by Sullivan and aces by Dodge and Bullock.
EC carried the momentum into the third set pulling out to a 21-12 advantage before the Lady Bulldogs made things interesting late winning the next six points to close the gap to three at 21-18. The Lady Bulldogs rally on senior Jillian Sherman's service rotation included a spike and a block by Edwards and was capped by a Sherman ace. However, Bullock provided the knockout punch with three late kills that kept the Fleet ahead to the end.
Barton will next make its first league weekend trip visiting Belmont Abbey College on Friday at 7 p.m., and Pfeiffer University on Saturday at 2 p.m.