Little Rock (LR) volleyball could not put away Appalachian State (APP) in five sets Friday night at the Jack Stephens Center. The match opened Sun Belt Conference play for both teams.
The Trojans (4-9, 0-1 Sun Belt) were carried by a spirited performance from freshman outside hitter Mya Robinson, who had a match-high 15 kills, which also matched her season high. Six of Robinson’s kills came in the fourth set, which the Mountaineers (6-9, 1-0 Sun Belt) took in dramatic fashion, 25-22, to force a decisive fifth set.
LR had won the first set, 25-13, and the third set, by a score of 25-21. APP also won the second set, 25-17, though at one point the Trojans trailed by 22-12.
The Trojans seemingly had the match in hand as they opened the fifth set with an 8-2 start . Later, down 13-9, APP rallied to score six unanswered points, with a kill from Kara Spicer completing the comeback and sealing the win. Spicer led the Mountaineers with 14 kills.
Junior setter Taylor Lindberg had 46 assists for the Trojans, along with four kills and a service ace of her own. Three other LR players also recorded a service ace, including Maritza Mesa, Marina Avram and Veronica Marin.
Mesa, a junior right side hitter from the Dominican Republic, finished the match with 14 kills. Avram, a senior from Bosnia and Herzegovina, had 13 kills and a team-leading 18 digs.
The Trojans’ Daisha Gillard, a junior, played aggressively above the net, posting a pair of solo blocks and three block assists. As a team, LR out-blocked APP 10-7.
LR will continue a conference-opening doubleheader this weekend, hosting Coastal Carolina tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center.