SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke College volleyball team posted a tri-match sweep on Saturday, recording 3-0 scores against Newbury College and Pratt Institute at the Howard Gym. With the victories, the Lyons move to 4-1 on the season. Newbury is now 2-1, while Pratt moved to 1-4.
In the opening contest, the Lyons posted a 25-20, 25-19, 25-16 win over Newbury. Holding a 2-0 set lead, MHC trailed early, but rallied behind runs of 6-0 and 5-0 to boast a 12-5 lead in the final set. Newbury edged back into the set behind several errors and a kill from rookie setter Halie Sanders (McDonough, Ga./Luella) to make it 15-13, but another 7-0 run, which included four service aces from sophomore setter Brayden Walden (McKinney, Texas/McKinney North) helped seal the match victory down the stretch for MHC.
The Lyons were led by a 10-kill effort from senior captain Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona), who also added a block assist and a .533 hitting percentage after posting just two errors. Junior middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) added nine kills and one error for a .444 percentage. She also had five block assists and a service ace. Senior captain Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) had a match-best five aces and 10 digs to go along with seven kills, while Walden had 18 assists, a match-high five aces and four digs.
For the Nighthawks, first year Natalia Ortiz Arce (Humacao, P.R./Colegio San Antonio Abad) had seven kills and six digs. First year defensive specialist Sophia Ortiz (Arlington, Tenn./Arlington) added a match-best 10 digs, while Sanders had five kills, a match-high 21 assists, a service ace and nine digs.
Mount Holyoke's second match of the day saw the Lyons post a 25-20, 26-24, 25-12 win over Pratt Institute. The Lyons faced a deficit in the second set battling back from being down 11-5 to eventually tie things at 12-all. MHC took a two point lead following a Simine kill and a Pratt error, but the Canoneers continued to fight back.
Trailing late, Pratt took advantage of two MHC errors and kills from sophomore outside hitter Emelen Mikelic (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) and middle hitter Yessenia Sanchez (Windsor, Calif./Windsor) helped make it 24-all. Kills from Simine and rookie Sarah Bishop (Rutland, Mass./Wachusett Regional) sealed the set win.
Simine paced the effort in the second match, recording 14 kills and just one error for a .481 hitting percentage. She also had a block solo and a block assist. Caggiano added six kills, a match-best four service aces and five digs, while Walden had a match-high 25 assists with four service aces as well.
Pratt was paced by first year right side Madeline Markley (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn), who had seven kills. Mikelic added five kills with two block assists, while junior outside hitter Marlena Todd (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) had four kills, two service aces and eight digs.
In the middle match, Newbury posted a 28-26, 25-22, 25-15 victory over Pratt. Ortiz Arce had six kills with 10 digs and five service aces, while Sanders added 18 assists and nine digs for Newbury. For Pratt, Mikelic recorded a match-high nine kills and added 14 digs.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Tuesday when it opens NEWMAC action by hosting Wheaton in a Battle of the Lyons at 7pm.