SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Powered by 10 or more kills from four different players, the Mount Holyoke College volleyball team rallied past the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), 3-1 (26-24, 24-26, 25-20, 25-23) on Tuesday evening at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. With the win, the Lyons improve to 2-1 on the season, while the Trailblazers slip to 1-5 overall.
It was a wild opening set as MHC grabbed an early 10-5 lead behind a kill from sophomore middle hitter Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona), but the visiting Trailblazers battled back, cutting the deficit to two (22-20) late in the frame as junior outside hitter Rebecca Godbout (Springfield, Mass./Sabis International Charter) laid down a great kill.
The close battled continued as an error on the Lyons made it a 24-all score, but the home team rallied, taking advantage of an MCLA error and a kill from sophomore middle hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe) to grab the set win.
MCLA jumped out to a quick advantage early in the second frame, but the Lyons were quick to respond. MHC turned up the heat late in the stanza with a 22-16 lead following three straight points, including two service aces from senior setter Natalie Lyon (Oakton, Va./Flint Hill School).
Despite the momentum, the Trailblazers quickly found their footing with a 7-0 run to end the set and take it by a 26-24 score. A pair of kills from senior outside hitter Allison Clark (San Jose, Calif./Foothill Community College) paved the way, along with a service ace from sophomore setter Beatrice Lechler (Point Lookout, N.Y./Holy Trinity).
Mount Holyoke once again jumped out to the lead in the third set, holding a 19-12 edge after a kill from Lyon. MCLA nearly pulled even as a six-point run – which included three service aces from Godbout – made it a 21-20 MHC lead, but the Lyons held on for the win as first year middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) and Allen laid down kills, while sophomore middle hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) added an ace for the 25-20 win.
The final set proved to be another nail-bitter as the two teams were locked in several ties in the late stages of the stanza. A kill from Clark on MCLA's side made it 20-all, while the Lyons countered with a kill from Allen. MHC finally broke away as sophomore libero Cameron Graham (Weymouth, Mass./The Out of Door Academy) laid down an ace, while a kill from Maran sealed it for the match win.
Allen led the Lyons with 13 kills, adding an assist, one ace, three digs, a block solo and a block assist. Maran had 12 kills with three aces, while Caggiano and Simine had 10 kills each. Graham boasted a team-best 19 digs, while Lyon had 39 assists to go along with 15 digs.
For the Trailblazers, junior middle hitter Maggie Allen (East Patchogue, N.Y./Bellport Senior) had a match-best 16 kills, while Clark added 14 kills, an ace and 16 digs. Junior defensive specialist Chanielle Enomoto (Wailuku, Hawaii/Maui) recorded a match-high 21 digs, while Lechler and junior setter Tayler Wiese (Las Vegas, Nev./Advanced Technologies Academy) had 20 and 11 assists, respectively.
Mount Holyoke returns to the court on Saturday as it faces Rhode Island College (12pm) and host Salve Regina (2pm). MCLA is also back on the court on Saturday, travelling to Norwich to face the host Cadets (12pm) and Lyndon State (2pm).