For the second straight time this season, it took five sets to decide a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Eastern Division volleyball match between Claflin and Benedict College.
Benedict came out on the winning end again, defeating the Lady Panthers 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 28-30, 25-18, 20-18) on Friday at Tullis Arena.
With the loss, Claflin dropped to fourth place in the division at 6-8 and 6-16.
Benedict maintained its hold on third place at 8-7, while improving to 12-10 overall.
Claflin won the first and third sets, while Benedict posted decisions in the second and fourth frames, setting the stages for an exciting finish.
In the fifth and deciding set, the Lady Panthers pushed Benedict to the limit before falling by two points.
After breaking a 5-5 tie to lead 5-6, Claflin held the lead until Benedict tied the contest at 11-11. After the tie, the teams would exchange the lead until Benedict wiped out an 18-17 Claflin lead by scoring the last three points for the 20-18 win.
In the opening set, the Lady Panthers never trailed after a 7-7 tie. Claflin gained some breathing room by scoring the next four points for an 11-7 lead. Benedict would later close the gap at 20-19 by outscoring the Lady Panthers 12-9. That would be the closes Benedict would get as Claflin closed out the set by scoring five points to just two for Benedict in winning 25-21.
The second set was all Benedict as the Lady Tigers jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead and never trailed. Claflin pulled to within two points on four different occasions, the last being 15-13. Benedict scored 10 of the last 16 points en route to the 25-19 win.
In the third frame, the contest was once again back-and-forth with the largest lead being five points by Claflin at 19-14. From that point, there would be seven ties, the last at 28-28. The Lady Panthers received kills from Jala Roberts and Jamie Dobson to pull out the hard-fought 30-28 win.
Benedict won the fourth set by seven, 25-18.
Claflin was led by Diara Lewis with 17 kills and 10 digs, followed by Ashleigh Green and Roberts with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
Dobson led the Lady Panthers in service aces with five, while Jhi Piper-Murles and Alexcia Herring added four each.
Chania Rispress paced Claflin in the assist department with 45, while Alycia Perez-Johnson had 12 digs and Jewel Moody added six blocks.
Benedict was led Adrionna Washington with 18 kills and seven blocks, while Arneshia Parrish added 14 kills. Brianne McMillian had 45 assist and Majda Cisic added 28 digs for Benedict.
Claflin will return to action against divisional foe Fort Valley State University on Nov. 2.
The Lady Panthers honored their three senior members, Alycia Perez-Johnson, Ashleigh Green and Alexia Herring, in a pregame ceremony.
SCSU cross country
teams vie for
The South Carolina State cross country teams will be among those vying for the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Cross Country Championships Saturday today, hosted by Delaware State at the DSU Outreach and Research Center in Smyrna, Del.
The championships will begin with the women’s five-kilometer (5K) race at 9:45 a.m., with the men’s eight-kilometer (8K) race to follow at 10:30 a.m.
Coach Tim Langford’s teams will be trying to improve on their 2016 performances when the women were ninth and the men eleventh.
The Florida A&M women are seeking an unprecedented sixth straight championship, while Maryland Eastern Shore will be looking for its fourth consecutive title.
Orangeburg man hits
hole-in-one at Wyboo
SANTEE -- Kenneth “Hopper” Mitchum from Orangeburg scored a hole in one on hole 8 at the Wyboo Golf Course in Manning on October 11.
Mitchum is now a member of the Santee Cooper Country “Hole in One” Award Program and will receive a parchment signed and sealed by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster.
Garnet, Black teams
split World Series
COLUMBIA -- The University of South Carolina baseball team wrapped up its fall practice with game two of the Garnet and Black World Series. The Garnet team came away with a 9-5 win, splitting the two-game series with the Black team.
The Garnet struck early with a six-run first inning. Junior Danny Blair walked and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on junior LT Tolbert's single to right. Tolbert moved up 90 feet on a passed ball and went to third on classmate TJ Hopkins' infield single. Junior Jacob Olson also reached on an infield single, loading the bases. Senior Hunter Taylor drove in a pair of runs with a single to right and senior Matt Williams made it 4-0 with an RBI fielder's choice. Freshman McLendon Sears brought in Garnet's fifth run with a single to right, scoring Williams. The Garnet team was given an extra run as the team batted around, a run that proved to be crucial in the aggregate.
Freshman Noah Campbell reached on a three-base error to open the bottom of the first. He scored on sophomore Carlos Cortes' sacrifice fly to left. Black chipped away with a run in the third as Campbell singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Cortes' single to left.
Garnet immediately came back with three runs in the fourth, sending eight men to the plate. Freshman Mason Streater and junior Chase DeMars both walked to open the inning. Garnet loaded the bases as Sears reached on a bunt single. Blair was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Sacrifice flies from Tolbert and Olson put Garnet up 9-2.
Black battled back with two runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Cullen and Cortes trotting home on a wild pitch. In the sixth, freshman Kyle Jacobsen doubled down the line in left to score sophomore Christian Flint, but a pair of groundouts ended the game. The tie-break was run differential, but both teams scored 12 runs as the series ends in a tie.
Sears had a pair of hits for the Garnet team, while Tolbert and Taylor drove in two runs apiece. For Team Black, Cortes was a perfect 2-for-2 with two RBI while Campbell scored two runs.
Freshman TJ Shook pitched 2.2 innings in the start for the Garnet. He allowed one earned run and three hits with a strikeout. Tolbert had a pair of strikeouts in an inning of relief. Freshman Hunter Lomas had a pair of punchouts for the Black team in two innings of work.
South Carolina will now concentrate on strength and skill work before returning to practice in January. Opening day in college baseball is Feb. 16. The Gamecocks will announce their 2018 schedule in the near future.