Stetson served 11 aces and hit .333 as a team en route to a 3-0 victory over visiting Bethune-Cookman Tuesday night at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (8-5) won by scores of 25-15, 25-17, 25-19 to post their second win over their Volusia County rivals this season. The two teams will meet one final time next Tuesday night in Daytona Beach.
"The team played well, I am happy with their performance," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "We faced a bigger challenge; Bethune is improved since the first time we played them. They set some challenges for us, and I was proud of our girls for raising their level of play."
Stetson fell behind 12-9 in the opening set, but closed the frame on a 16-3 run. Alexa Drost served two aces as part of a 9-0 run, and she finished the match with four aces overall.
The Wildcats (1-9) also led 9-7 in the second set and 7-3 in the third set before Stetson rallied each time.
"We kind of got off to a slow start in each set, but as the sets went, we started to figure out where to serve, where to attack, and what to expect from the other team," Loesch said. "That shows some good maturity and experience."
In addition to Drost's four aces, Kayla Weller served three aces, and Madison Akins added a pair. The team's 11 aces tied a season-high.
"Even more than the aces, we got the other team in trouble a lot," Loesch said. "We got some easy balls back even when we didn't get an ace. That's important for us, it is something we have worked on a lot for the last couple of weeks."
Kaley Melville led the Hatters with 10 kills, while Tiffany Creamer added seven kills on 14 attempts without an error (.500 attack pct.). Erika White also hit .500 (6-1-10) and assisted on three blocks.
Kayla Weller dished out 32 assists, while Michelle Kastner picked up 16 digs.
Stetson will open Atlantic Sun Conference play with a pair of home matches this weekend. On Friday, the Hatters will face UNF (3-7), last year's conference tournament runner-up. First serve is set for 6 p.m. On Saturday, Stetson will host currently undefeated Jacksonville (9-0) at 3 p.m. Fans with a ticket to Saturday night's Stetson football game will be admitted free to the volleyball match that afternoon.
Notes: Stetson is 7-2 in its last nine games ... The Hatters are off to their best start since 1996 ... Kaley Melville was honored before the match for recording her 1000th kill on Saturday.