DECATUR, Ga.—Piedmont ground out a four-set thriller over Agnes Scott in the USA South home opener for the Scotties. The Scotties had their chances to take control of the match in the late stages, but the Lions had just enough grit to battle back for the big early-season win. Piedmont won overall 25-17, 12-25, 27-25, 25-22.
The Lions improve to 7-4 overall and more importantly, 2-1 in the USA South. Agnes Scott drops its ninth match of the season and sits at 4-9, while posting a 1-2 mark in the conference.
After an initial burst by the home side, Piedmont held a firm point advantage for the rest of a 25-17 triumph. The Scotties hit in the negatives during the opening set, but quickly settled into a rhythm after switching sides.
Junior Morgan Pearson (Pensacola, Fla.) was a wrecking crew in a second set where the Scotties dominated from beginning to end. Pearson found some momentum in the middle of the set and never slowed down en route to a season-high 13-kill performance overall. Agnes Scott hit .361 as a team in the frame with 16 kills to only three errors.
The Scotties again raced out to a lead in the third stanza and held a 20-16 advantage to force Piedmont into a timeout. The Lions responded well with four straight points out of the break to knot things up, however Agnes Scott was the team to hold two set points just a few moments later. Piedmont held strong, capitalizing on a pair of Scottie errors before a kill by Anna Wright (Lilburn, Ga.) finished the set, 27-25.
Things turned a bit in the fourth as Piedmont took a 17-13 lead with overall victory in its sights. Agnes Scott had different ideas with a 5-0 run spurred on by three kills from Pearson and a service ace.
However, Piedmont was able to stop the bleeding and staved off three separate Agnes rallies to take the match overall 25-22.
The Lions distributed the ball well as no player finishing in double figures on the attack. Kaitlyn Loesel (Cumming, Ga.) had the team high with nine, while Lainey Choiniere (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Jenna Wendel (Lawrenceville, Ga.) split 34 assists. Libero Haley Hixon (Ringgold, Ga.) had a game-high 31 digs.
The Scotties will look to rebound when they host LaGrange for the non-conference matchup with the Panthers.