Volleyball: Panthers rally to beat Emmanuel 3-2 in five-set thriller

Volleyball: Panthers rally to beat Emmanuel 3-2 in five-set thriller

LaGrange College rallied to beat Emmanuel College 3-2 in a five-set thriller at the CEB Gym on Thursday. The Panthers improved to 10-9 on the season and avenged a 3-0 loss to the Lady Lions on Sept. 13. Emmanuel (13-11) lost only its second non-conference match of the season.

The Panthers held Senior Night for their one senior, Crystal Colvin, who was honored in a pre-match ceremony. Colvin leads the team in digs this season and is 11th on the school's career digs list. She holds the school record for digs per set. Colvin tied a season-high with 27 digs Thursday.

Katie Covington led the Panthers with 15 kills. She added 15 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. Ashley Corona and Nicole Wilson each had nine kills. Erin McKinstry had 42 assists, while Mary Ann Washichek had seven kills and 16 digs. Kristen Barton had 13 digs.

Emmanuel took the first set 25-19, but the Panthers came back to take the second set by the same 25-19 score. In the third set, the Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead. The Lady Lions stormed back to take the set 25-18 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The fourth set went back forth and was tied on nine occasions. Covington's service ace broke a 15-15 tie and the Panthers never trailed again. They led 22-17 before the Lady Lions pulled within one, 22-21. Washichek's ace put the Panthers up 24-21 and the set ended as Riley Forester's kill attempt went wide for the Lady Lions.

In the deciding fifth set, the Panthers trailed 9-8 after committing a service error. Hayley LaFontaine's block tied the set, then Corona put down a kill to put the Panthers up 10-9.

Corona and Covington each had a kill as the Panthers went up 13-10. The Lady Lions closed within 14-13 but Covington's kill closed out the match for the Panthers.

The Panthers host Brenau on Friday at 5 p.m.