USCA volleyball starts 2-1 at Lenoir-Rhyne

Sep. 2—HICKORY, N.C. — The USC Aiken volleyball team started the season over the weekend at the Lenoir-Rhyne Tournament, winning two out of three matches.

The Pacers beat Mount Olive and Converse on Friday before falling to host Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday.

USCA beat Mount Olive in four sets, winning 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-14. Mallory Barash had 34 assists and 11 digs, Alisha Pitt had a team-high 10 kills with four blocks, Emily Lammers had nine kills and 12 digs with three aces, Kari Mercer had 18 digs, and Lexi Rogers and Anna Sommer each ha seven kills.

The Pacers then swept Converse in a 25-23, 25-12 and 25-18 victory. Barash had another double-double with 36 assists and 10 digs, Mercer had 21 digs, Sadie McKay had 13 kills with five aces and five digs, Rogers had eight kills and seven digs, and Pitt had eight kills an two blocks

USCA concluded the weekend with a five-set loss to Lenoir-Rhyne by scores of 25-20, 26-28, 18-25, 25-23, 10-15. Barash had 49 assists and 16 digs, Lammers had 14 kills and 20 digs, Rogers had 11 kills and 16 digs, Mercer had 32 digs, and McKay had 15 kills and eight digs.

The Pacers return to action Friday when they host Belmont Abbey at 11 a.m., in the first match of the USC Aiken Invitational.

Cross country opens season at Elon

ELON, N.C. — The USC Aiken women's cross country team recorded an 11th-place finish at the Elon Friday Night Lights Meet, and the men's team finished 12th.

The women's team was led by newcomer Tess Studley's 47th-place effort in the 4k event. She posted a time of 15:35.5. Taylor Joop crossed the line in 16:12.3, which was good enough for 58th place.

Amaiyah Smith was not far behind Joop, finishing in 16:42.1 for 63rd place. Freshman Olivia Moriates tallied a time of 17:28.9, which was good for 69th place. Bailey Kirkland finished in 17:38.4 for 74th place.

In the men's 6k race, newcomer Julio Rojas led the way in 57th with a time of 20:22.3. Fellow newcomer Justin Kaimann was not far behind him, finishing in 20:33.3 for 60th place.

Julian Mendoza raced through the line in 22:01.8 for 74th place. He edged teammate Tyler Blowe, who ended his race five seconds later. Riley Campbell finished in 22:47.6 for 76th place.

Both teams return to action next Friday at the Blue Bear Invitational hosted by Livingstone.