CHARLOTTE — The Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball team started the 2019 season in strong fashion, completing a one-day sweep of Francis Marion and Grand Valley State at the Queens Fall Invitational at the Levine Center on Friday.
Following a 3-0 win over Francis Marion behind set scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-21, the Bears (2-0) also earned a 3-0 victory over Grand Valley State, winning by set scores of 25-18, 25-21 and 25-18.
It was all Taylor Prall in the first match of the season, as the junior finished with 17 kills and a career-high .654 hitting percentage in L-R’s win over Francis Marion. A Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference selection, she added nine digs, two aces and a block.
Sophomore Alannah Thomas added seven kills for the Bears, the second-highest total of her L-R career. Her final kill came on the game-winner, and she also finished with five digs.
Sophomore Helen Hamilton handed out 20 assists for L-R, while sophomore libero Ashley Hawkins tied Prall with nine digs. Hawkins also had six of the Bears’ 15 aces on the afternoon, which was just two shy of trying the program record for a three-set match.
Against Grand Valley State, Prall continued her strong play with 10 kills and 13 digs. Additionally, Hawkins recorded a team-high 23 digs.
Hannah Houston added 14 digs for the Bears, with Hamilton notching 22 assists and a career-high eight kills.
The Bears has two more matches on Saturday as part of the Queens Fall Classic. After battling North Greenville at 2:30 p.m., L-R takes on Belmont Abbey at 7 p.m.
L-R hosts Catawba in its home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m.