BELMONT, N.C. - The Converse College Volleyball team (6-22) competed in a tri-match against Belmont Abbey (16-9) and Piedmont International (15-6) on Saturday afternoon.
Converse first faced Belmont Abbey in a conference matchup and took the opening set with ease. The Valkyries raced ahead of the Crusaders early in the match taking a 7-5 lead. Belmont Abbey came within one point of the Vals, but five straight points from the Purple and Gold set them ahead 16-10. Belmont Abbey retaliated with a four-point spurt, but it was not enough to overcome the Valkyries. A final kill by Sydney Allen secured the 25-22 win for Converse.
The second set of the match belonged to the Crusaders. Abbey ran away with the game early-on thanks to four- and five-point bursts giving them a 13-4 lead. The Valkyries powered back into the match and came within one point of the Crusaders, 16-15, but it ultimately was not enough. Belmont Abbey recorded the victory and tied up the match 1-1.
The majority of points in the crucial third set were evenly exchanged. But a few 3-point runs was just enough for the Crusaders to take the third set 25-22.
In the fourth and final set, Belmont raced ahead to lead 10-4. Their lead quickly increased 18-9 leaving the Valkyries in a difficult spot. With a Converse victory looking unlikely, the Purple and Gold pushed back and came within 3 points of the Crusaders at 23-20. Despite their best efforts, Belmont Abbey was victorious in the fourth set winning 25-20 and taking the match.
Looking to post a win on the day, the Valkyries faced Piedmont International in their second and final game in a five-set thriller.
Kills by Morgan Pearson and Kaylee Owens set the pace for the first set and put the Valkyries up 4-1. A 3-point run from Piedmont kept them in the game but the Purple and Gold raced forward taking a 15-10 lead. The rest of the set belonged to Converse who took the first set 25-23 off of another kill by Morgan Pearson.
Looking to extend their lead in the second set, the Vals took complete control after an incredible 7-point burst to race ahead 12-5. The Bruins answered with five straight points to reel the game back in 17-15, still behind. Converse continued to fight eventually the securing the second set 25-20 to go two-up in the match.
Although the Valkyries looked to put away the Bruins in the pivotal third set, Piedmont jumped ahead early taking a 9-4 lead. The Valkyries played from behind the remainder of the set coming within one point of the Bruins near the conclusion of the game. A critical service error by Piedmont tied the score 24-24, but the Bruins eventually came away with the 26-24 win to force a fourth set.
Piedmont continued their momentum in the following frame jumping ahead 8-5. But the Vals tied the scoring back up 12-12 after a five-point run. Much of the set was evenly exchanged and scoring tied again at 24-24. But the Bruins took the fourth set 27-25 meaning another narrow loss for the Purple and Gold.
The Bruins looked good in the fifth and final set racing out to a 7-4 advantage. But a kill by Elizabeth Yohe and an attack error by Piedmont tied the score at 9-9. A final kill by Alexis Pitts put the Valkyries on top securing the set 15-13 and the game 3-2.
Converse Volleyball will be back on the court as they travel to Emmanuel for a conference match on Friday, October 26. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.