FLORENCE, SC – Freshman middle blocker Iyanla Thigpen pounded out 12 kills with a .632 hitting percentage to lead Francis Marion University to a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-19, 25-16) of Chowan University, Tuesday evening (Oct. 23) in non-conference volleyball action.
Francis Marion improves to 13-11 and ends its home slate with an 8-7 mark. FMU will conclude its regular season with three straight road conference matches, beginning with a 7 p.m. start at Augusta University on Friday.
Thigpen registered her 12 kills on only 19 swings as she did not have an attacking error. Fellow freshman Alyssa Hansen came off the Patriot bench to record nine kills, while senior Georgia Garrison and sophomore Kayla Arthur added eight kills apiece. Garrison also dug up 11 balls and Arthur served a pair of aces.
Freshman setter Finn Millians handed out 21 assists and served two aces, while senior setter Carrie McGinnis tallied 19 assists. Sophomore libero Natalie Ferrell posted 15 digs, while sophomore Courtney Abdur-Rahim chipped in seven kills and 13 digs.
Milica Vejnovic led Chowan (8-14) with 11 kills, while setter Micayla Pope registered 27 assists and 11 digs.
Despite three early ties, FMU never trailed in the opening set with Thigpen and Garrison leading the way with four kills each. Francis Marion hit .361 as a team in the first set. A 12-3 run to end the second set erased a 16-13 deficit for the Patriots and gave FMU a 2-0 advantage heading into the intermission. In the third set, Francis Marion snapped a 3-3 deadlock with a 10-2 spurt and never looked back.
Post-match comments from head coach Lauren Baufield and freshman Iyanla Thigpen
Francis Marion Univ. def. Chowan University 25-17,25-19,25-16
Chowan University (8-14) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Milica Vejnovic 11-0-1;
Courtney O'Keefe 7-1-1; Sydney Hiner 4-2-0; Breona Young 4-0-4; Raven
Finley-Flowers 2-0-1; Micayla Pope 1-1-0; Totals 29-4-5.0. (Assists) -
Micayla Pope 27. (Dig leaders) - Alyssa Born 20; Micayla Pope 11
Francis Marion Univ. (13-11) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Iyanla Thigpen
12-0-2; Alyssa Hansen 9-0-0; Georgia Garrison 8-0-1; Kayla Arthur
8-2-0; Courtney Abdur-Rahim 7-1-0; Carrie McGinnis 2-0-0; Finn
Millians 0-2-0; Totals 46-5-2.0. (Assists) - Finn Millians 21; Carrie
McGinnis 19. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Ferrell 15; Courtney Abdur-Rahim
13; Georgia Garrison 11
Site: Florence, SC (Smith Univ. Center)
Date: Oct 23, 2018 Attend: 131 Time: 1:21
Referees: Moses Brown, Robert Doan
Line judges: Liberty Schultz, Michaela Dennis
Liberos: Ferrell (FMU), Born (CU)