ROANOKE, Va. – Behind a huge day from Tyler Sesker, Hollins volleyball picked up a pair of wins Friday to start the 2019 Maroon Classic.
They took down NC Wesleyan 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-12, 25-17) in the first match of the afternoon before knocking off Piedmont in a thrilling five set victory (19-25, 25-16, 14-25, 25-9, 16-14) to end day one.
Vs NC Wesleyan
Riding a three-match win streak, Hollins was playing with a lot of confidence against the Bishops. In the first set, after getting down 4-2, Hollins reeled off six straight points, highlighted by kills from Kenna Esquibel, Sesker and an ace from Zoe Brooks to take an 8-4 lead, which they held for the rest of the set.
Hollins dropped the second set, pulling within one at 13-12 and 18-17 before NC Wesleyan went on a run and squeaked out a two-point set victory.
HU dominated the third set, leading from start to finish. Strong service games from Brooks and Hannah Crum put the exclamation point on the set, with a Crum ace putting Hollins ahead 2-1.
Set four was all Hollins as well as they used momentum to finish off the Bishops anytime NC Wesleyan got close. HU got runs of 5-1 and 4-1 to pull in front and take the final set. The win moved Hollins to 4-2.
Sesker led the way offensively with a match-high 21 kills. The Bishops just didn't have an answer for the height of the 6'5" sophomore. Casey Mahan (10 assists and 14 digs), Brooks (24 assists and 11 digs) and Hannah Piatak (12 assists and 25 digs) all had double-doubles for HU. Amanda Mink and Brooks also finished with five aces apiece.
The start against Piedmont in the nightcap couldn't have been more different from Hollins' first match of the day.
The Lions jumped out to an 11-2 lead, cruising to a 25-19 first set win.
Hollins bounced back in the second, using a strong service game from Crum to go up 10-4. Piedmont was able to get within five at 17-12 but Hollins shut the door on a comeback and finished the set with a Sesker kill.
Piedmont took set three, putting Hollins a 2-1 hole but HU rallied in the fourth, shellacking Piedmont 25-9. At one point during the set, Hollins outscored the Lions 19-4.
Hollins fourth set win set up a decisive game five. The two teams traded points back and forth, never being able to pull ahead. Piedmont was able to serve for the match at 14-13, an Esquibel ace, sandwiched between a pair of Sesker kills, capped a 3-0 run for Hollins and gave them the 16-14 win.
HU was led by Sesker yet again, who had a team-high 12 kills. Brooks and Mahan were a potent 1-2 punch on the assist line, adding 20 and 12, respectively. Piatak led the way defensively with 22 digs.
Hollins will wrap up the 2019 Maroon Classic with a pair of matches on Saturday. They'll take on Mary Baldwin at 1 pm before finishing the day with Maryville at 3 pm.