FLORENCE, SC – Led by a trio of players with 10 kills apiece, Francis Marion University defeated Paine College 25-14, 25-7, 23-25, 25-13 on Wednesday evening (Oct. 23) in non-conference women's volleyball play. The contest was the Patriots' annual DIG PINK match benefiting the Side-Out Foundation.
Francis Marion improves to 13-9 and equals its win total of last season. FMU will return to Peach Belt conference play this weekend as the Patriots travel to Georgia College on Friday (Oct. 25) at 7 p.m. and Augusta University on Saturday (Oct. 26) at 2 p.m.
Junior Kayla Arthur, sophomore Iyanla Thigpen, and freshman Brittany Sehnke led FMU with 10 kills each. For Sehnke, a product of Wilson High School, it was a career high, while for both Arthur and Thigpen it was their third consecutive match with double-digit kills. Thigpen also led the team with five blocks.
Sophomore setter Finn Millians dished out 41 assists for the Patriots. Junior Courtney Abdur-Rahim recorded a season-high equaling five service aces and dug up nine balls, while senior libero Natalie Vaughn had 19 digs and served two aces.
The Lady Lions (11-7) were led by Kennedy Curtis with five kills and four blocks. Setter Lanica Phillips handed out 14 assists, while Jada Wilks had four kills and led the Lions with five blocks.
The entire match saw nine ties, with four in each of the first and third sets. The third set also saw three lead changes of the evening.
Francis Marion never trailed in the opening set and took control with a 7-0 spurt that snapped a 7-7 deadlock. With Abdur-Rahim serving the Patriots registered the first nine points of the second set and were never threatened.
Paine used its own 9-0 run midway through the third set to earn its one win. FMU got to within 24-23, but a kill by Kennedy clinched the set for the Lady Lions. The Patriots never trailed in set No.4 although Paine knotted the score at 6-6. However, Francis Marion earned 15 of the next 19 points and pulled away to clinch the match. Arthur and Sehnke has five kills apiece in the final set.
Post-match comments from FMU head coach Lauren Baufield
Francis Marion Univ. def. Paine College 25-14,25-7,23-25,25-13
Paine College (11-7) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kennedy Curtis 5-0-4; Jada
Wilks 4-0-5; Taylor Grant 3-0-1; Shavonne Boggs 3-0-0; Lanica Phillips
3-1-2; Shatia McCaskell 2-0-0; Ayanna Harrison 1-0-0; Jayla Rolle
1-0-0; Melina Rose 1-2-2; Totals 23-3-9.0. (Assists) - Lanica Phillips
14. (Dig leaders) - Shatia McCaskell 12; Lanica Phillips 8; Ayanna
Francis Marion Univ. (13-9) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kayla Arthur 10-1-1;
Brittany Sehnke 10-1-2; Iyanla Thigpen 10-0-5; Alyssa Hansen 9-2-0;
Madeline Winning 4-0-1; Courtney Abdur-Rahim 3-5-1; Lily Walton 3-0-0;
Finn Millians 1-1-1; Natalie Vaughn 0-2-0; Totals 50-12-6.0. (Assists)
- Finn Millians 41. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Vaughn 19; Finn Millians
9; Courtney Abdur-Rahim 9
Site: Florence, SC (Smith Univ. Center)
Date: 10/23/19 Attend: 255 Time: 1:27
Referees: Debbie Ormand, Darrl Buck
Line judges: Addie May, Sarah Harkins