GREENVILLE, S.C. - Ansley Hodge posted a career-high 16 kills, including six in the fifth set, to lead the Converse (3-14) volleyball team to a thrilling five-set win over Bob Jones (14-3) on Tuesday evening. Kiara Cannon and Kaylee Owens also got in on the personal-best parade, recording 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
After the two teams traded the initial six points of the opening set, Converse used a 7-1 spurt to race ahead 10-4 early. The Bruins trimmed the deficit to 14-10, but three straight from the Purple and Gold pushed the lead back out to a comfortable 17-10 margin. The Valkyries would go on to take set one 25-16 following a service ace by Tyra Murray.
Bob Jones raced out in the second frame, taking three of the first four points. From that point the Vals brought the score to within one on two separate occasions, but BJU never trailed, knotting the match at 1-1 with a 25-19 set win.
Converse led from beginning to end in the third set. After taking four-of-five to begin the affair, the Valkyries' lead grew to as many as 10 points (23-13). With the Vals up 24-16 and looking to take a 2-1 match lead, Bob Jones netted the next two points to put the pressure on, but a massive kill by Owens finished the set for Converse.
With their back against the wall, the Bruins came out clawing in the fourth set, building a 4-2 lead. However, a kill by Jordan Mrkvicka sparked an 11-3 run that gave the Valkyries a 13-7 lead. Hodge demolished a ball in to the floor to give CC its biggest lead (17-10), but Bob Jones came storming back with a 9-1 burst to regain the lead, 19-18. The set would be tied three times over the final points, forcing volleyball's version of extra innings. With the score deadlocked at 24-all, the Bruins tallied a kill followed by a service ace to take the fourth set and send the match to the decisive fifth set.
Converse came out hot in set five, reeling off the first three points. However, BJU used four in a row to claim its first lead of the final frame. From that point it was a back-and-forth affair as the set saw 14 ties and six lead changes. The score was even at 17-17 when an attack error by Courtney Bates followed by a monstrous swing from Morgan Pearson gave the Vals the match with a final set score of 19-17.
Mrkvicka and Lauren Tharrington combined to dish out 48 assists, while Sydney Allen anchored a stingy defense, finishing with a game-high 23 digs. Tharrington also collected 17 digs to notch a double-double on the evening. Elizabeth Yohe tallied 15 digs and Tyra Murray was a productive force on the back row, digging eight balls in the win.
Converse will be back in action on Friday, September 28 as it travels to Tigerville, S.C. to take on North Greenville University. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.