DEMOREST, Ga. – The tandem of Hannah Elmore on offense (17 kills) and Maggie Weiss on defense (28 digs) led Brevard to a four-set victory over Piedmont on Wednesday evening by scores of 20-25, 27-25, 25-22 and 25-23.
Elmore was one of three players to top double figure kills along with Stephanie Lambert (13) and Rachel Ruble (12) as the Tornados recorded 54 kills and a .210 hitting percentage. Teammate Josie McElroy was the catalyst for the Brevard offense with 50 assists, helping Brevard improve to 5-2 on the season.
A solid back row performance by Weiss and Bri Vargas, who finished with 14 digs, combined with three assisted blocks each from Ruble and Elmore, limited the Piedmont (5-3) offense to a .156 hitting percentage. The Lions eclipsed a .200 hitting percentage in only the first set, where they finished with a .344.
Two early kills by CeCe Cogliano coupled with a series of unforced Brevard errors allowed Piedmont to establish an early 10-5 lead in the opening set. Elmore responded by driving a kill past the Lion defense and following a strike by Whitney DeMoss, Brevard trimmed the deficit to three.
Clinging to a 20-17 lead deep in the first set, Cogliano and Kaitlyn Loesel added back-to-back kills to stretch the lead to five and force a Brevard timeout. Vargas responded with a kill on a pass from Kathryn Beasley, but it was a Loesel kill and two unforced errors down the stretch that gave Piedmont the five-point win.
Brevard opened up the second set with kills among its first 10 points, taking advantage of two from Elmore, to establish a 10-7 lead. Piedmont capitalized on two kills each from Cogliano and Loesel as it scored seven of the next 11 points to pull even at 14.
A series blocks from Cogliano, Loesel and Katelyn Durmire, along with four unforced Brevard errors opened the door for Piedmont to assume a 21-17 advantage. The Tornados regained their previous offensive form and behind kills from Ruble and Lambert brought the game to 24-24 deadlock. BC closed out the win with kills down the stretch by McElroy and Lambert.
The Tornados carried over the momentum from their second set victory into the third, using four points from Weiss' service game to establish a 7-4 lead. Brevard stretched that advantage to five, 12-7, before three kills by Camille Hunt and three points with Lainey Choiniere in serve resulted in a 16-16 tie.
A barrage of kills by Ruble, Lambert, Vargas and DeMoss allowed Brevard to regain its lead, 20-17. The Lions pulled with one, following points from Durmire and Erica Balkcum, but it was two kills from Elmore and a slam by Ruble that gave the Tornados a 2-1 edge.
Looking to claw its way back into the match, Piedmont scored 10 of the first 15 points of the fourth set, highlighted by two kills from Cogliano. Brevard quickly flipped that score, converting kills by Vargas, Ruble and Lambert, to take a 16-13 lead.
The three-point advantage was short lived as Cogliano used her service game to bring the set to a 16-all deadlock. A timely kill from Lambert, along with subsequent scores from Elmore and Ruble, eventually forced a Piedmont timeout with the Tornados leading 21-18. Brevard held off a late charge by the Lions and took advantage of two kills from Elmore and two unforced Piedmont errors to win its fifth match of the season.
Brevard returns to the courts on Saturday, Sept. 23, when the Tornados face Berea (3 p.m.) and Huntingdon (5 p.m.) in Montgomery, Ala.