Turea Jones recorded a match-high 14 kills for Kennesaw State as the Owls defeated Stetson 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) in an Atlantic Sun Conference match Friday night at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (4-23, 0-10 A-Sun) recorded 10 blocks for the match, but trailed the Owls (16-10, 5-6 A-Sun) in the kills category 41-33.
“Kennesaw played well, we were just a step behind them and couldn’t quite catch-up,” Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. “I thought we blocked very well at times today, and our passing came around after game one. But they just outhit us, and that’s something we are working on, and hopefully we will improve on that tomorrow.”
Stetson suffered from six service errors and seven attack errors in the first set as Kennesaw took a 1-0 lead in the match. But the Hatters fought back in set two, which featured 12 ties and two lead changes. Ellen Hawks and Taylor Johnson combined on three blocks during the frame, including one that tied the score at 19. But the Owls finished on a 6-2 run to win the set 25-21.
In the third set, Stetson rallied from an 18-14 deficit to take a 19-18 lead. The teams battled through tie scores at 19, 20, 21, and 22 before the Owls scored three of the last four points to seal the victory.
Statistically the Hatters received solid contributions from several players. Kaley Melville led the offense with eight kills and added six digs. Kelli Carneal posted seven kills, 14 assists, and four blocks. Morgan Pautsch had seven kills and three blocks, Hawks collected five kills and four blocks, and Johnson assisted on five blocks. Monique Russell led the defense with 18 digs.
“I thought a couple girls had really good games for us,” Loesch said. “Kelli Carneal and Mel Melville both did a nice job and Morgan Pautch in the middle was very effective. Taylor Johnson did well with her opportunity, and I thought Samantha Freeman did a nice job when she came in for a game and a half. And Monique Russell had a great game, she dug a lot of balls and had some nice passes.”
The Hatters will host Mercer at 3 p.m. on Saturday.