ROCK HILL, SC – The Winthrop volleyball team swept the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 3-0 Friday evening in Big South action inside the Winthrop Coliseum.
The Eagles improved to 14-12 overall and 5-7 in conference with the victory while Gardner-Webb fell to 15-14 overall and 6-5 in the Big South with the loss.
The win also marked the 200th career victory in the career of head coach Bruce Atkinson.
Winthrop cruised to a first set victory after jumping out to a 10-5 advantage. The Eagles then went on a 7-2 to run to open a 17-7 edge en route to winning the first set 25-15.
The early part of the second set was a back-and-forth battle. The two teams were tied at 15-15 before the Eagles were able to slowly pull away for a 20-17 lead. The Bulldogs briefly pulled two points back, but couldn’t do any more as Winthrop took the second set 25-20.
Gardner-Webb again played the Eagles tough in the third set, but couldn’t get the points needed late in the stanza. Winthrop led by three at 21-18 late in the set, but the Bulldogs battled back to get within one at 23-22, forcing Winthrop to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, kills by Irene Ojukwu and Jackie Landers sealed the 25-22 third-set victory.
Rachel Lenz led the Eagles with 12 kills and a.435 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks. Jackie Landers notched 11 kills and two service aces. Jessie Vicic finished with 38 assists while Maria Volstad tallied 16 digs.
The Eagles will return to the court on Saturday when they play host to the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 1 p.m. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team who will play at 4 p.m.