After finding some rhythm towards the end of their non-Atlantic Sun start to the season, the Mercer Bears volleyball team came home to take on the defending champions Lipscomb and fellow Nashville school Belmont on Sept. 23-24. The Bears put it all on the line to try to unseat two of the Atlantic Sun’s best. Unfortunately, the Bears were unable to pick up a point against Lipscomb, and couldn’t overcome Belmont despite winning the first set. The Bears extended their losing streak (as of Sept. 24) to three games, falling to 4-11 overall, 0-2 in conference play. Lipscomb rose to 6-6, and Belmont rose to 11-6 overall.
Lipscomb 3, Mercer 0.
Mercer could never right the ship in any of the three sets, dropping them all at 25-19, 25-23 and 25-18. Despite leading 22-18 in the second, the Bears lost seven of the next eight points to see Lipscomb’s volleyball team take their first steps toward another title. Junior Charlayna Braxton carried the squad in her two sets, picking up five kills. She had a .333 hitting percentage. Braxton added a pair of block assists. Jamie Duffy got to 401 career digs on the night, adding four to her tally. Charlotte Harris’s chase of Mercer and Atlantic Sun records in digs was boosted by another 12. Amiee Frutchey had seven kills to lead the Bears. Madeline Dolny had 10 assists and six digs to further her streak of matches with at least 10 assists. Mercer was outdug 42 to 36, and both teams had six blocks. The Bears hit just .010 as a team.
Belmont 3, Mercer 1.
The Bears experienced more heartbreak the next day as the Belmont Bruins outlasted them. The Bears jumped out to a 4-1 lead, winning the first set 25-18. However, the luck would turn against the Bears, as they dropped three straight sets 20-25, 23-25 and 14-25. Mercer outblocked Belmont 7-5 with Jennifer Katona having six blocks on the day. Anna Coursey had 11 kills on 32 attempts. In the third set, Mercer got back to 24-23 before a Belmont timeout quelled all the momentum, allowing for a Bruin lead in the match 2-1. Meanwhile, Charlotte Harris had 22 digs as she inched closer to the record. Jamie Duffy had seven kills and nine digs. The Bears are 0-2 in conference play.