No. 16 Wingate shuts out Mars Hill 3-0, keeps perfect record
Wingate, N.C. -- 16th-ranked Wingate won their 83rd consecutive SAC match Friday, sweeping visiting Mars Hill in Cuddy Arena. Wingate won by scores of 25-21, 25-15 and 25-17 to improve to 9-0 overall and 1-0 in the SAC. The Bulldogs have now won a nation’s-best 59 consecutive regular season matches. Mars Hill falls to 6-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Outside hitter Shelly Stumpff had 15 kills and 10 digs to lead the Wingate attack, hitting .429 on the night. Right-side hitter Anna Hilton added 10 kills and eight digs, hitting .500 for the match. Outside hitter Cory McGowan added eight kills in two sets of action, while middle blocker Grace Krauser had six kills and a .429 hitting percentage in two sets. Setter Alison Cooke registered a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs, the fifth double-double of the year for the two-time SAC Specialist of the Week.
Middle hitter Toni Cole had 13 kills to lead the Mars Hill attack, hitting .344. Outside hitter Marissa Wixson and middle hitter Regan Macomson added five kills each for the Lions. Setter Hannah Wilson had 14 assists for Mars Hill, while libero Maggie Murphy collected a match-high 15 digs.
“This was a good win for us,’ head coach Shelton Collier says. “We have been working hard in practice to make progress and tonight we executed some things that will help us as we go through the season. Our team hitting percentage was strong tonight, and we are looking forward to a great match with Tusculum tomorrow.”
The first set stayed tight early, but a pair of Hilton kills, along with a kill from middle blocker Allison Rickher put Wingate on top 16-13. Mars Hill cut the lead to one when a kill from outside hitter Hillary Gambrell made it 16-15. Kills from Hilton and McGowan, along with two kills from outside hitter Susie Murach put Wingate on top 20-17. Stumpff added a kill to make it 23-20. Cole answered with a kill to cut the lead to two, but Hilton pushed the advantage back to three with a kill. Middle blocker Lexi Potter capped the opening set with a block. Wingate hit .302 in the first frame, piling up 20 kills.
A pair of Krauser kills gave Wingate a 14-7 lead in the second set. Macomson trimmed the deficit to six with a kill, but the ‘Dogs responded with a 4-0 run, highlighted by two Stumpff kills to take a 19-9 lead. A pair of Mars Hill errors put Wingate on top 24-14, while outside hitter Kayla Osterhus capped the second set with a kill. Wingate hit .467 in the second frame, with 16 kills and just two errors.
Kills from Stumpff, Krauser and outside hitter Hannah Huffman helped Wingate take an 11-7 lead in the third set. Mars Hill fought back, going on a 6-1 run to take a 13-12 lead on a kill from sophomore outside hitter Kaleigh Sutherland. The Bulldogs scored the next three points, taking a 15-13 advantage on a Potter kill. Cole answered with a kill, while the Lions tied the match at 15 on a Wingate error. Stumpff slammed home a pair of kills in a 3-0 run, while kills from Hilton and Krauser put the ‘Dogs on top 21-16. Another Krauser kill, followed by a Mars Hill error made it 24-17. Huffman capped the match with a kill.
The Bulldogs hit .349 on the night, with 53 kills and 15 errors in 109 attacks. Mars Hill had 27 kills and 15 errors in 98 attacks, hitting .122 on the night.