After a wild first set that saw the Hatters pull out a 32-30 victory, Stetson rolled to a 3-0 win (32-30, 25-13, 25-23) over visiting Bethune-Cookman Tuesday night at the Edmunds Center.
Stetson improved to 2-7, while Bethune-Cookman dropped to 0-8.
Junior Ellen Hawks led the Hatters with a career-high 14 kills, senior Monique Russell and junior Kaley Melville each collected 19 digs, and senior Kelli Carneal added seven kills, 23 assists, and nine digs.
Stetson had suffered from six set losses by just two points this season, but won two close sets on Tuesday night.
“I am very proud of the team for finding a way to win,” Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. “We have had some close games but tonight we found a way to win. We played with confidence, we played aggressively, and we were able to come back from eight or nine down two different times.”
Stetson found itself down 11-2 in the first set, but a 7-0 run brought the Hatters within two. The Lady Cats extended the advantage to 18-13 and later to 23-20, but the Hatters came back to tie the set 23-23. From there the set stayed tied at every point, with the Hatters reaching a set point five times and the Lady Cats twice. But a block assist by Melville and Hawks followed by a B-CU attack error gave Stetson the 32-30 victory.
After winning five first sets but no second sets all season, the Hatters were able to end that trend with a 25-13 win in set number two.
But Stetson had to mount a comeback again in set three. With the Lady Cats leading 21-13, Russell, Evann Dickerson, and Taylor Story helped serve the Hatters to a 12-2 run and a match victory.
“It was really a team effort, but I want to highlight a couple of players,” Loesch said. “Hawks had a great match with 14 kills, and the setters did a great job of getting her the ball. I also want to recognize the passers. Monique Russell had a great game passing and Mel Melville received over 70 percent of the serves and also passed well. Offensively she also had to make adjustments during the match and figured out what she needed to do to be successful.”
Stetson continued its dominance over Bethune-Cookman, winning for the 50th time in 54 tries in the all-time series. The Hatters have won the last six straight head-to-head meetings against their Volusia County rival.
Krysta Gardner led B-CU with 12 kills and 14 digs. Aria Cormier recorded eight blocks.
Stetson will travel to Norfolk, Va. this weekend to compete in the NSU Spartan Classic. The Hatters will face UNC Wilmington (Noon) and Norfolk State (7:30 p.m.) on Friday and Rutgers at 10 a.m. on Saturday.