Madison Haake recorded her second triple-double of the season and Rebecca Shearer set a new career-high in kills as the USC Upstate volleyball team defeated the Winthrop Eagles 3-1 in its home opener Tuesday evening from the Hodge Center.
Upstate continues its best start in the Division I era and improve to 4-0 overall. With the loss, Winthrop drops to 0-4 on the season.
Haake tied for the team-lead with 13 kills on the evening and added 20 assists and 11 digs. The freshman has logged two triple-doubles and two double-doubles to start her season. Kayla Eversgerd collected her third double-double of the season after finishing with 11 kills and a team-best 20 digs. Shearer surpassed her old career-high of 12 kills tonight as she had 13 to tie Haake for most on the team. Lexi Gober tallied 22 assists to go with her six digs.
Lourdes Rosario led the Eagles with 16 kills while Madilyn McCarter posted a double-double of 41 assists and 12 digs. Emma Weakland and Annelies Dokter had 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Maria Volstad had a match-high 21 digs.
The Spartans fell behind early after dropping the first set 25-18. Upstate led for most of the set after jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead and holding on 13-11 midway after Eversgerd’s service ace. Winthrop answered with a 7-2 run after that and took an 18-15 lead on a combination block from Weakland and Rachel Lenz. The Eagles led by as many as seven and won the set following a kill from Rosario.
Upstate answered back in the second set after capturing six of the first eight points to lead 6-2 when Callie Yeargin and Emily Koelling combined for a block. The Spartans never trailed during the second set and used back-to-back Winthrop attack errors to increase their advantage to 14-10. The Eagles fought back to within one, 15-14, on Dokter’s kill, but Upstate answered with a quick 5-2 run to lead 20-16 after Yeargin’s kill. Yeargin won the set for the Spartans as her kill made it 25-22 and evened the match at 1-1.
Winthrop opened the third set on a 4-1 run after a pair of kills by Rosario. Upstate stayed within one after that and would tie the score 10-10 after Shannon Weiss’ service ace. The ace by Weiss, and a kill from Gober, helped spark a 9-4 run for the Spartans to give them a 17-14 lead. A service ace by Lenz put the Eagle deficit back to one at 19-18, but Upstate recorded the final five points of the set to win 25-20.
The Spartans led the entire way during the fourth set highlighted by a 5-1 start to the frame. Upstate took an early 11-5 lead in the set when back-to-back errors forced Winthrop into a timeout. After the Eagles cut the lead to 11-8 following the timeout, the Spartans benefited from several Winthrop miscues, as well as Eversgerd and Brianna Tellschow teaming up for three kills, to go ahead 18-12. Upstate cruised from there to win the set 25-18 and take the match 3-1.
The Spartans hit the road this weekend for the AmericInn Runnin’ Bulldog Classic hosted by Gardner-Webb. Upstate faces The Citadel Friday at 4:30 p.m. and follow on Saturday with Southeast Missouri State at 10 a.m. and Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m.