FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore 6-2 middle blocker Lily Walton recorded a season-high 15 kills to lead Francis Marion University to a three-set sweep (25-18, 25-14, 25-20) of Claflin University in non-conference volleyball play on Friday evening (Sept. 27).
Francis Marion (8-6) will begin Peach Belt Conference play on Friday, Oct. 4, against Lander University at 7 p.m. in the Smith University Center. The Patriots will also host USC Aiken on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.
Walton posted a hitting percentage of .481 with only two errors on 27 swings and chipped in four blocks. Sophomore Adison Minor and freshmen and Florence native Brittany Sehnke each added seven kills, while freshman Madeline Winning dished out 25 assists. Sehnke is a product of Wilson High School.
Claflin (1-4) was led by Taylor Drayton with nine kills and seven digs. Setters Leah Wellington and Vianca Colon Gonzalez dished out eight assists apiece, and Wellington recorded a team-high 11 digs.
Francis Marion never trailed in either of the first two sets. Claflin jumped out to a 7-3 lead in set three, and later led 13-9 forcing a Patriot timeout. FMU responded with 10 straight points behind the serving of Arthur, to take a 19-13 advantage. The Lady Panthers closed to within 23-20, but kills by Walton and fellow 6-2 sophomore middle blocker Iyanla Thigpen clinched the match for Francis Marion.
Post-match comments from FMU head coach Lauren Baufield and sophomore middle blocker Iyanla Thigpen
Francis Marion Univ. def. Claflin University 25-18,25-14,25-20
Claflin University (1-4) (Kills-aces-blocks) - DRAYTON,Taylor 9-1-0;
ROBERTS,Jala 7-1-0; SHONIA,Shiniyia 3-0-3; EDOUARD,Sadaiya 1-0-3;
PRESTON,Erin 1-0-0; WELLINGTON,Leah 0-1-0; CROSBY,Makaylen 0-0-1;
COLON-GONZALEZ,Vianc 0-1-0; Totals 21-4-4.0. (Assists) - . (Dig
leaders) - WELLINGTON,Leah 11; FIERCE,Trinity 10
Francis Marion Univ. (8-6) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lily Walton 15-1-4;
Adison Minor 7-1-1; Brittany Sehnke 7-1-1; Iyanla Thigpen 6-0-3;
Alyssa Hansen 5-0-0; Kayla Arthur 2-4-3; Madeline Winning 0-1-1;
Natalie Vaughn 0-2-0; Totals 42-10-7.0. (Assists) - Madeline Winning
25; Kayla Arthur 14. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Vaughn 18; Adison Minor
10; Kayla Arthur 9
Site: Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
Date: 09/27/19 Attend: 149 Time: 1:19
Referees: Michael Holder, Ronnie Mutter, Jordan Carlson, Janecia Hemingway