CHICOPEE, Mass. – Senior captain and outside hitter Emma Sweeting posted a 14-kill effort to lead the Mount Holyoke College volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16) victory over Elms College in the season opener for both teams.
The Lyons took control in the opening set, going on an 8-1 run mid-way. Pacing the effort were a pair of kills from first year middle hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep). MHC also capitalized on a number of Blazers service errors for a 20-10 lead. Elms pulled to within 22-14 late, but kills from Sweeting (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y./Hastings), Maran and an attacking error on the Blazers sealed the win.
Mount Holyoke came up just short in the second set, but kept it close throughout. Facing a 20-18 deficit, the Lyons were able to pull it to within two (23-21) on a kill by first year middle hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown). An attacking error by the Blazers made it a one-point game, but Elms closed out the set win on a kill by Kate Moriarty.
After another close third set, which saw the Lyons post a 25-20 win, MHC took control in the final frame. Holding a 19-16 advantage, the visitors went on a 6-0 run, which included a pair of kills from Sweeting to seal the team's first win of the year.
Sweeting led with a match-best 14 kills, adding five service aces and five digs. Maran chipped in with 11 kills, five service aces and 13 digs, while junior setter Natalie Lyon (Oakton, Md./Flint Hill School) boasted a match-high 32 assists to go along with 12 digs. First year right side Isabell Linde (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) and libero Sara Robicheau (Easton, Pa./Notre Dame HS) each had a contest-best 15 digs.
Mount Holyoke returns to the court on Saturday when it travels to West Hartford, Conn., for a tri-match at the University of Saint Joseph. The Lyons face the host BlueJays at 10am before squaring off against Medgar Evers at 12pm.