New Haven, Conn. – The Mount Holyoke volleyball team came out of the gates strong and fought off rallies from the Albertus Magnus in the second and third games en route to a 25-9, 25-18, and 25-21 triumph. MHC improves to 4-14, while the Falcons slip to 6-16.
Senior outside hitter Amber Cohens (Hamden, Conn.) paced the AMC offensive attack with seven kills and all three of the team's service aces. For the second time this autumn, Cohens registered a hitting percentage over .500. Other contributors offensively for the Falcons were freshman outside hitter Ashley David (West Islip, N.Y.) and juniors Ana Gomez (New Haven, Conn.) and Jacqueline Gonzalez (Ansonia, Conn.). Both David and Gonzalez had four kills apiece, while Gomez had three. In the middle, freshman Jesselle Guzman (Santa Teresa, N.M.) and junior Marielis Muriel (New Haven, Conn.) shared the setting duties and combined for 16 assists. Defensively, Guzman had a team-best 10 digs, while Muriel added seven. At the net, Gomez picked up both of the team's blocks.
It was a balanced attack for the Lyons as four different Mount Holyoke players recorded nine or more kills. Sophomores Joy Maran (Sante Fe, N.M./Sante Fe Prep) and Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) along with first year Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) all registered 10 kills apiece, while sophomore middle hitter Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) racked up nine kills of her own. Maran, Caggiano and Simine all had hitting percentages over .300. In the middle, senior setter Natalie Lyon dished out a match-best 30 assists for MHC. Defensively, Lyon had 10 digs and Caggiano and Allen combined for five blocks.
The first set saw MHC get out to a blistering 17-8 start. After a kill by the Falcon's David, the Lyons recorded nine straight points backed by a pair of kills by Maran and Simine to end the set. In the next set, Mount Holyoke got out to a 16-9 margin, but the Falcons rattled off six straight to tie the game at 17-all. MHC went on to score eight of the next nine points to end the set, 25-18.
The third set was tightly contested throughout as the teams got out to a 17-all tie. Later in the set, MHC took a commanding, 24-18 lead but three straight points from the Falcons closed the margin. Allen laid down the final kill to secure the set and match.
As a team, Mount Holyoke registered 42 kills, nine service aces, 29 digs and eight blocks. On the opposite side, Albertus Magnus had 20 kills, three service aces, 38 digs and two blocks.
Mount Holyoke will host Westfield State University and Daniel Webster Albertus Magnus in tri-match action on Saturday at 11:00am. Albertus Magnus also returns to action on Saturday with a road GNAC tri-match featuring Saint Joseph's (Maine) and host Anna Maria.