Hassan’s 32 kills upends Stetson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2001

DELAND, Fla. – Led by Rachel Hassan’s school record 32 kills, the Troy State volleyball team defeated Stetson, 3-2, for its first Atlantic Sun win of the season.

Troy State improves to 6-7 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while Stetson falls to 5-9 and 1-2.

Each game was extremely tight and closely contested. Game one saw 10 ties through the first 16 points before Troy State slowly pulled away to take a 1-0 lead, 30-24. In game two, the Hatters trailed 28-27 but rallied for three consecutive points to tie the match 1-1.

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Game three also went down to the wire as Troy State scored four of the final six points to come away with a 30-27 victory. The Hatters battled back once again in game four, which saw 13 ties through the first 15 points. Stetson then opened up a lead and held on to even the match at two games a piece.

Neither team had led by more than five points at any point until Troy State jumped out to an 11-5 lead in game five and never looked back. Hassan ended the contest with her 32nd kill, giving the Trojans their first conference victory of the season.

Hassan, who became just the 13th player in the country to reach the 30-kill plateau this season, hit .551 and had 13 digs and a match-high three blocks. Erika Leitzke had a school record 78 assists and 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Erika VanHootegem hit .415 and finished with 25 kills and 24 digs for her third 20-20 match of the season. It was her third double-double in the last four matches and eighth of the season.

Kira Smedley led the Hatters with 20 kills. Alicia Schaper posted 18 kills and 18 digs, while Michelle Clonan added 16 kills. Tara Conner went over 60 assists for the second straight day and picked up 14 digs as well.

The Lady Trojans bounced back to beat Stetson after dropping a three game sweep to Central Florida prior to this weekend’s game.

TSU gave UCF all it could handle in the first game, stretching it to extra points before falling 31-29. Both teams hit over .375 and had just seven attack errors in the game. UCF took the second game 30-24 before closing the match out with a 30-28 win in game three.

VanHootegem recorded her team-leading sixth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 11 digs. It was her fourth 20-kill performance of the season. Haven Triboulet and Leitzke also tallied 11 digs. Leitzke finished with 36 assists and three aces.

The Golden Knights out-hit the Trojans .382-.186 and held an 11.5-2 team block advantage.

The Trojans return home this weekend and will play host to Campbell and Belmont this Friday and Saturday. Friday’s match will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s is set for 2 p.m. Both matches will be played at Trojan Arena and admission is free.