Lady Patriots continue winning streak

The FMU women’s volleyball team dismantled Claflin University on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center in a non-conference match.

After this game, the Lady Patriots are ranked 8-6 overall.

Sophomore middle blocker Lily Walton was on fire the whole game. She led the team with 15 kills, 4 blocks and a .481 hitting percentage.

Walton only made a few errors out of the 27 swings she made during the game.

Defensive specialist Natalie Vaughn followed behind her with 18 digs.

Junior outside hitter Kayla Arthur had 14 assists and four serving aces.

The Lady Patriots kept the lead for the first two sets, but lost it and gained it back in the third set.

Freshman middle blocker Madeline Winning started the first set with a successful serving ace and brought the score to 5-3.

Sophomore outside hitter Adison Minor started to warm up with a few powerful swings.

Sophomore middle blocker Iyanla Thigpen and Arthur dominated the net nine minutes into the game and routed Claflin University in the first set.

The Lady Patriots tried a new rotation with its setters.

Head Coach Lauren Baufield used two players who had never set on the collegiate level starting out in the first set.

“We ran a line that we never ran before and the entire team stepped up,” said Baufield.

The Lady Patriots had 15 kills by the end of the first set.

The Lady Patriots ended the first set with an impressive swing from freshman outside hitter Brittany Sehnke.

Walton started the second set with a quality swing and scored the first point in the second set.

Claflin University tried hard to confuse and break through the Lady Patriots defense, but the Lady Patriots fired back with their own digs and quick rotations.

Claflin had some good defenses, but it wasn’t good enough to hold off the Lady Patriots offense.

Minor made some great serves and swings during the second set. Minor also had two aces early in the second set, bringing the score 12-6.

At the end of the second set, Walton had10 kills with a hitting percentage of .833.

Thigpen followed behind with three kills, six kills for Minor and five for Sehnke.

The Lady Patriots started to wane in the third set and allowed Claflin to take the lead.

The game was really intense in the third set. Claflin started to come back with aggressive defense and blocks.

Thigpen brought back the momentum when she jammed the ball and got a kill, bringing the score 5-7.

Sehnke made an impressive line shot and brought the Lady Patriots one point behind Claflin.

Vaughn got a clean ace and tied the set 9-9.

The Lady Patriots took the lead and played strong throughout the rest of the set with some impressive kills, blocks and aces.

During the match, the Lady Patriots made some mistakes, but they persisted through them to get the 3-0 win.

“We kept boosting each other up when we made mistakes,” Thigpen said.

The Lady Patriots have so much talent on their team this year and with every game they learn to stride in their excellence.

“Something our team is working on right now is our confidence,” Arthur said. “We have so much talent so we are learning to be the dominant team we know we can be.”