CHARLOTTE, NC – A 10-0 run in the fourth set and a great all-around performance from junior Kayla Arthur sparked Francis Marion University to a 25-15, 25-22, 24-26, 25-17 win over Belmont Abbey College on Friday evening (Sept. 6) at the Queens University of Charlotte Volleyball Fall Classic. The victory gave the Patriots a split of their season-opening two matches after FMU lost to Lenoir-Rhyne University 25-11, 25-18, 25-21 earlier in the day.
Francis Marion (1-1) will conclude its tournament play on Saturday by playing North Greenville University at 10 a.m. and Barton College at 4:45 p.m.
Arthur tallied 16 kills, nine digs, six blocks, and four service aces to lead FMU in the win over the Crusaders. Sophomore Adison Minor chipped in 11 kills and eight digs, while sophomore Iyanla Thigpen added eight kills, and junior Courtney Abdur-Rahim seven kills, 15 digs, and five service aces.
Sophomore 6-2 middle blocker Lily Walton led the Patriots defensively with eight blocks, while sophomore setter Finn Millians dished out 42 assists and dug up 11 balls. Senior libero Natalie Vaughn recorded a team-high 18 digs.
Arthur served during the 10-0 spurt late in the fourth set as Francis Marion rallied from a 15-13 deficit and took a commanding 23-15 advantage. Arthur notched a trio of aces, while Minor had three kills and Thigpen two during the run.
FMU used a 6-2 spurt in the opening set as the Patriots went ahead 19-9 en route to a 25-15 win. Abdur-Rahim helped break a 21-21 deadlock in the second set as FMU won 25-22. Belmont Abbey scored the final four points of set three as the Crusaders rallied for a 26-24 victory.
Andie Meredith led Belmont Abbey (0-2) with 14 kills.
In the loss to LRU, Arthur led the Patriots with eight kills and eight digs, while Abdur-Rahim had five kills, eight digs, and three services aces. Millians handed out 23 assists, while Vaughn dug up a team-high nine balls.
Taylor Prall paced the Bears with 17 kills and nine digs.