By Freed-Hardeman Sports Information
HENDERSON, Tenn. - There have been big wins before in the history of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) volleyball, and this one will rank among the biggest of them all.
The Lady Lions rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the fourth and fifth sets and pull off an upset of third-ranked Columbia (Mo.) (26-24, 22-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-12) on Saturday afternoon. It marks the first time an FHU team has defeated a team ranked as high as the Cougars.
Freed-Hardeman spent much of the match battling back from behind, overcoming deficits in all three sets it won including a 9-5 deficit in the fifth set.
The four-point deficit quickly turned into a one-point lead following a time out. CC's Shelby Schwenkter committed a service error out of the time out before FHU put away three straight kills, one from Renata Ferreira and two from Daymari Brito. A Cougar kill knotted the set up at 10-10 before the Lady Lions pulled away, as Brito provided three of the last five points including a match-clinching ace (click to watch match point).
FHU (3-3, 2-0) scored points six of the final seven rallies in set one after trailing 23-20 to take a 1-0 lead, aided by a pair of Columbia attack errors to close the set. But the Cougars recovered and took the next two sets after jumping ahead early both times.
Columbia (6-2, 2-1) looked to be on its way to doing that again in the fourth set after building an 11-8 lead, but the Lady Lions rolled off five straight points and, after four side-outs, put together a run of six straight points to take a commanding 20-13 lead. CC pulled within four points late but kills by Brito and Amanda Cunningham closed out the set to tie the match.
Three quick aces gave CC a 5-2 lead in the final set, but once again FHU fought back.
For the second match in a row, Daymari Brito tallied 25 kills to lead all attackers. Allie Moss added 13 for Freed-Hardeman while Renata Ferreira had seven. Michelle Bennett led the back row defense with 17 digs.
The Lady Lions return to the floor on Tuesday, hosting Tennessee Temple at 7:00 PM.