Johnson, Lions complete comeback to defeat UVa-Wise

Johnson, Lions complete comeback to defeat UVa-Wise

WISE, Va. - The Mars Hill volleyball team (5-3, 4-1 SAC) defeated UVa-Wise (1-6, 0-5 SAC) in five sets, picking up their third win in a row Saturday evening in South Atlantic Conference play.

For the second time in as many nights, the Lions emerged victorious after a five-set contest.  

Sally Anne Johnson recorded five of her game-high 26 kills in the final set, leading the Lions to victory.  On her final kill of the night, Johnson set up several match points.  The Cavaliers were able to fight one off, however, a service error provided Mars Hill the win.  Both teams recorded nine kills and zero errors in the final set.

UVa-Wise, early in the first set, went on a 7-2 run to take an 11-7 lead.  They continued to force the Lions' hand and strung together several runs throughout the opening frame, including a late 6-1 run to go up 24-14.  The Lions reeled off four straight, including two kills from Lauren Phillips, but the set-clinching kill was knocked down by Matelyn Gibson.

The Lions, in the second set, jumped out to a 6-1 advantage and held the lead until the 13-8 mark of the set.  The Cavaliers, off of the serve of Morgan Milligan, went on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the frame, going up 16-13.  Mars Hill responded with a 4-0 run, followed by both teams trading 3-0 runs.  The Lions led 21-20 late until the Cavaliers took five of the next six points to go up 2-0 entering the third.

Mars Hill opened the third by taking nine of the first 12 points.  The maintained the lead all throughout the set.  A late scare by UVa-Wise saw the Cavaliers pull within one at 24-23, but Sarah Goddard's kill put Mars Hill on the board and forced a fourth set.

Similar to the third set, Mars Hill opened the set with a large lead, taking 10 of the first 12 points.  Holding a 21-12 advantage, the Lions saw UVa-Wise go on to take five of the next six points to pull within seven.  The Cavaliers put up a fight in the final moments of the set, but a setting error followed by a Makaila Vang ace provided Mars Hill the opportunity to complete the comeback by forcing a fifth set.

Ciara Kain and Gibson led the Cavaliers offensively with 18 and 16 kills, respectively.  Milligan led the team with 25 digs while Makayla Ledford led all players with 51 assists.

Johnson hit a game-high .545 while adding three solo blocks and five block assists.  Goddard added 14 kills while Ully Martins led all players with 34 digs.  Jordan Schmucker and Sara Pasour recorded 29 and 28 assists, respectively.

The Lions return to action on Tuesday, September 24th as they wrap up their three-game road trip versus Lenoir-Rhyne.  First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.