Bearcats hold off Francis Marion for 3-2 road conference win


Florence, S.C. – The Lander volleyball team (13-7, 3-4 PBC) defeated Francis Marion 3-2 on Friday night to extend the team’s winning streak to three games. As a result of the win, the Bearcats moved into sole possession of the fifth spot in the Peach Belt standings.

Lander took the first set behind five kills each from sophomore Reilly Kuenstler and freshman Hannah Hritz. The Bearcats closed with five of the set’s last six points en route to the 25-21 victory.

The second set was a back and forth affair as the two teams exchanged the lead on seven different occasions. With the score tied at 21, the Bearcats took control of the game with junior setter Sophia Perkins back to serve. Lander delivered three straight points with Perkins in service to take a 24-21 advantage. Senior outside hitter Kristin Martindale garnered the decisive set point for her eighth kill of the match to give Lander the 25-22 win.

Francis Marion rebounded in the third set. The Patriots jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and never looked back. Francis Marion led by as many as 12 points as the team took the 25-14 victory.

Francis Marion (7-13, 2-5 PBC) poured the pressure on in the fourth set as the Patriots evened the match at two games with a 25-20 win. Saturday’s match marked the fifth time this season that the Bearcats participated in a five-set match.

The Bearcats responded in the fifth game with a 15-12 win as Lander never trailed in the decisive final set. With the win, the team improved to 4-1 in games played to five sets.

Martindale led the Bearcats with 16 kills on a .256 hitting efficiency. Perkins compiled a team-best 27 assists, while sophomore libero Hannah McManus registered 23 digs.

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