Stetson University senior outside hitter Kaley Melville recorded her 1000th career kill Saturday afternoon as the Hatters posted a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Louisiana Tech at the Tangi Tourism Lion Classic in Hammond, La.
After the Lady Techsters (5-6) took the opening set 27-25, the Hatters (7-5) roared back with three straight wins (25-15, 25-18, 25-19) to claim the match and finish the tournament with a 2-2 mark.
"It was a real good win for the team," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "Everybody that went in was focused on doing their part. Also, everybody played very aggressively, which is something we have been preaching to them all year."
Stetson's offense sizzled over the final three sets as the Hatters hit a combined .457 (43 kills, 6 errors, 81 attempts). The Hatters had hit a season-low .055 in a loss to Nebraska-Omaha earlier in the day. The overall .383 mark against La Tech was a season-high.
"That really started with our passing," Loesch said about the high hitting percentage numbers. "Mel, Michelle (Kastner) and Julie (Bassett) did a great job. They made it easy for Kayla (Weller) to distribute the ball. Kayla did a great job of reading the defense and feeding the hot hitters."
Melville became the 10th player in school history to reach the 1000-kill milestone. She finished the match with 13 kills.
"It feels amazing," Melville said afterwards. "There is no way I could have pulled it off without this team beside me, especially Kayla. She just came through in a way that would be very difficult to explain. She was there when I needed her to be and was by my side for the last couple kills that pushed me over 1000."
Weller dished out an even 50 assists, while adding a key kill midway through the fourth set as well as clinching the match with a game-ending service ace.
Freshman Tiffany Creamer led the way with 14 kills, and recorded a team-high 24 kills on the day. Ellen Hawks threw down 11 kills in 21 attempts without committing an error, good for a .524 attack percentage. Morgan Pautsh (.583) and Cailyn Prewitt (.375) also recorded high hitting percentages.
"All of our hitters were very successful," Loesch said. "The other team was hard pressed to defend anybody because everybody was doing so well.
"Tiffany really stepped up," Loesch added. "She was one of the first girls to buy into what we were asking. It was nice to see her have a couple of strong matches hitting the ball."
Defensively, Michelle Kastner led the squad with 14 digs, while Hawks added four blocks.
Winners of six of their last eight matches, Stetson will return home to face Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Notes: Ellen Hawks and Tiffany Creamer were named to the all-tournament team ... Prior to three sets wins vs. La Tech, Stetson had lost three straight sets by three points or less ... Kayla Weller reached 50 assists for the third time this season ... Stetson committed only 11 attack errors in 120 attempts ... At 7-5, the Hatters are off to their best start since 1998.