Tornados Extend Season-Long Winning Streak to Four, Down Berea

Tornados Extend Season-Long Winning Streak to Four, Down Berea

MONTGOMERY, Ala. –  Rachel Ruble finished with a match-high nine kills, while the trio of Hannah Elmore, Stephanie Lambert and Whitney DeMoss added seven apiece, to help a well-balanced Brevard lineup to its third sweep of the season and fourth win in a row, by downing Berea 25-13, 25-22 and 25-9 in Saturday afternoon action at Huntingdon University.

The second match of the tri-match, between the Tornados and host Huntingdon, was not completed due to a power outage that blanketed the campus. The decision of match, which was halted with Huntingdon leading by two sets and a 9-8 margin in the third frame, will be made in the future by USA South Conference officials.

Brevard picked up its sixth victory of the season after driving home 38 kills in 104 attempts, posting a .211 attack percentage. The Tornado offense was led by Josie McElroy's 29 kills, while Maggie Weiss put together a 28-dig effort that highlighted the Tornados' back row defense. She was joined among top defenders by DeMoss and Ruble, who added three blocks apiece, to hold Berea (2-9) to a -.069 attack percentage.

Leading 2-0 heading into the decisive set, Brevard converted four kills in its first eight points to grab an 8-2 advantage. Seven unforced Berea errors, coupled with three kills by Ruble, allowed the Tornados to stretch the lead to 18-7 and force a second timeout.

Kristen Rathbun put the Tornados over 20 points with a series of service aces as Berea's offense was out of sync. Slams by Ruble and Lambert along with a pair of unforced Mountaineer errors helped Brevard complete the sweep by a 16-point margin.

The two teams traded the first 18 points of the second set, battling through four ties to reach a nine-all deadlock on an attack error by Berea's Megan Voorhees. That mistake opened the door for the Tornados to score four of the next five points, including a kill by Ruble and a service ace from Lambert, as they moved in front 13-10.

A Berea timeout allowed them to refocus and piece together a 5-2 run, deadlocking the game at 15. Rathbun stepped into serve, recording three straight aces, as the Tornados took a three-point lead (21-18) to force the second Berea timeout. The Mountaineers trimmed the margin to one, 23-22, before an unforced error coupled with a DeMoss kill provided Brevard with the victory.

With McElroy and Kasey West in serve the Tornados took advantage of two kills by Elmore and a blocks from the duo of Ruble and DeMoss to establish a 10-2 lead in the first set. A timeout was not enough to slow down the Brevard offense, as Ruble and Lambert drove a pair of strikes past the Mountaineer defense to stretch the advantage to 18-6.

Berea took advantage of a service ace by Eliza Lavin and an unforced Brevard error to reach double figures, 20-10, was unable to mount a significant comeback as kills down the stretch by Ruble and DeMoss completed the 12-point victory.

The Tornados return to action next Saturday when they host LaGrange and Maryville (Tenn.) in a tri-match that begins at noon.