SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College volleyball team split tri-match action against Westfield State University and Daniel Webster College on Saturday. The Lyons bested the Owls, 3-0 in the morning match, but then fell to the Eagles, 3-1 in the last match of the day. The middle match saw Daniel Webster post a 3-0 win over Westfield State.
With the split, the Lyons are now 5-15 overall. Westfield State drops to 11-16, while Daniel Webster jumps to 18-8, breaking the all-time season record for wins.
In the first match against Westfield State, the teams played back-and-forth until the Lyons took a commanding, 21-16 lead after a kill from sophomore middle hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep). The Owls brought it to within two, following a service ace from sophomore defensive specialist Lizzie Taylor (Medfield/Medfield), but MHC went on to score four of the next five points to win the set.
After using the momentum of a 25-14 set two win, the Lyons jumped out to a 24-10 lead in the third. After two Owl kills, Maran earned the game deciding kill. First year middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights College Institute) led the match with 12 kills, and also earned five block assists. For the Owls, Taylor led the team with 15 digs.
In the middle match, Daniel Webster held a 2-0 lead heading into the third set. The teams battled to an 11-all score, but the Eagles gained a 20-16 advantage, powered by a pair of kills by junior middle back Hannah Koehler (Bedford, N.H./Bedford). Koehler went on to score three of the final five points to win the match.
For the Owls, first year outside hitter Natasha Belardo (Springfield, Mass./Holyoke) led the team with 10 kills, while Taylor led with 19 digs. For the Eagles, Koehler led the match with 14 kills. Junior setter Nicole Beard (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) led the match with 29 assists.
In the final match of the day, Daniel Webster headed into the third match with a 2-0 lead in the match, but Mount Holyoke got out to a 21-11 lead in the third stanza. The Eagles chipped away at the deficit, getting as close as 23-20, following a service ace from senior outside hitter Madeline Roulier (Pittsfield, Mass./St. Joseph), but the Lyons earned the final two points with a kill by Maran and a service error from Daniel Webster to earn the set win.
In the fourth set, the Eagles regrouped and got out to a 24-10 lead, behind four kills from Koehler. The Lyons scored three straight, capped off by a Maran strike, but senior outside hitter Brooke Marcotte (Nashua, N.H./Wilton-Lyndeborough) laid down the game-winning kill.
Moran ended with 15 kills and 16 digs, while sophomore middle hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) turned in seven kills and two block assists. Koehler posted a match-high 17 kills, along with five blocks. Roulier notched 11 kills and a match-best 22 digs.
MHC returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Smith at 7:00pm. Westfield will also be in action on Tuesday, facing Wesleyan at 6:00pm, while Daniel Webster will host Bay Path at 7:00pm on Wednesday.