Volleyball Wins Home Opener Versus Saint Joseph; Falls to SUNY Cobleskill in Five-Set Thriller

South Hadley, Mass. - September 7, 2019 - The Mount Holyoke College volleyball team picked up its first win of the 2019 season on Saturday afternoon in Howard Gymnasium, as the Lyons defeated the University of Saint Joseph Blue Jays in the first of two matches, but fell to SUNY Cobleskill in a five-set battle in the second. 

With the split, the Lyons are now 1-4 overall, as Mount Holyoke College was led by the tandem of Marianne Simon (Miami, Fla.) and Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont.), who combined for a total of 43 kills between the two matches.

The Lyons will now focus on Mass Maritime, as they head to Buzzards Bay on Tuesday, September 10 for a 7 p.m. match.

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Mount Holyoke 3, University of St. Joseph 0 -- Game One

Led by 12 kills from Simon, the Mount Holyoke College volleyball team picked up its first win of the 2019 season, playing for the first time in Howard Gymnasium. Simon notched 12 kills on 24 swings, hitting .250 for the match, while Sarah Bishop (Rutland, Mass.) chipped in seven of her own and posted a team-high 16 digs, guiding the Lyons to victory. 

The Lyons scored the first three points of the first set to take a 3-0 lead on a kill from Simon, but a four-point run for the Blue Jays gave the visitors a 4-3 lead to start the match. A kill from first-year McKenna Crosby (Jonesborough, Tenn.) gave the Lyons a 9-6 lead in the middle of the set, before Bishop picked up a kill to give the hosts a 12-6 advantage. Mount Holyoke College held a four-point advantage until the Blue Jays made it a one-point game on a kill from Shannon Carey (Bayport, N.Y.), but the Lyons were able to respond with a 7-1 run, capped by a kill from Gabrielle Davis (Keller, Texas.), resulting in a 23-16 advantage for Mount Holyoke College. Simon would eventually pick up back-to-back kills to finish off the set, sealing the victory for the hosts.

The two sides battled back-and-forth in the opening stages of the second set, before the Lyons opened up a 10-7 lead on a kill from Bishop. The Blue Jays then answered with five-consecutive points to take a 12-10 lead, before a kill from Simon made it 13-13 midway through the second set. Continuing to battle back-and-forth until the score was 25 apiece, Mount Holyoke College was able to seal the match with a kill from Bishop, followed by a service ace from Alexandra Keough (Endicott, N.Y.)

Another kill from Simon gave the Lyons a 4-3 advantage to start the third set, before a three-point burst from the Blue Jays gave the visitors a 6-4 lead. After taking back its own lead, the Lyons made it 14-10 following a kill from Natasha Henry (Troy, N.Y.), but St. Joseph crawled back to make it 14-13, Lyons. From there, a kill from Davis, an ace from Bishop and a kill from Simine gave Mount Holyoke College a 17-13 advantage. 

From there, the Blue Jays would pull to within one, but made crucial errors in the late stages of the frame, resulting in a 25-19 victory for the Lyons. 

SUNY Cobleskill 3, Mount Holyoke 2 -- Game Two

Despite a match-high 15 kills from Simine and a team-best 19 digs from Simon, the Lyons fell to SUNY Cobleskill in a five-set thriller at Howard Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. Along with her 19 digs, Simon also had 10 kills and five aces, Keough also chipped in with six aces in the setback. Keough and Brayden Walden (McKinney, Texas) also combined for 41 assists between the setting duo.

It was all Mount Holyoke College in the first set as the Lyons jumped out to a 2-0 lead following a pair of errors from the Fighting Tigers, before an ace from Keough brought it to 6-6. After a kill from Henry made it 7-7, the Lyons went on a 8-0 run that was capped by an error from the Fighting Tigers to make it 14-17, hosts. After SUNY Cobleskill earned its ninth point in the set, the Lyons rattled off another six-consecutive kills to make it 21-9, before a kill from Simon sealed the frame, 25-13.

The Fighting Tigers jumped out to a 9-3 start in the second set which forced a timeout from Mount Holyoke. After coming out of the break, Simon served five-consecutive points to bring the Lyons back to within one, before SUNY Cobleskill regained a four-point lead to make it 14-10. Later in the set, the Fighting Tigers were able to extend its lead to seven, before sealing the set 25-18.

SUNY Cobleskill would take a 2-1 lead in the match following the third set, as the Fighting Tigers started the match with a 4-3 lead, before being overtaken by the Lyons following an attack error that resulted in the hosts taking a 14-11 lead. The Fighting Tigers crawled back to even the score at 20, before taking the last five points and a 25-20 set victory.

A kill from Simine gave the Lyons a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, before SUNY Cobleskill responded with a 5-0 run to take a 6-3 lead. Trailing 7-4, the Lyons put together a 7-0 run to take an 11-7 lead and forcing SUNY Cobleskill into a timeout. The run featured tough serving from Keough, who picked up a couple of aces as well. Once again, the Fighting Tigers crawled back into the match and made it a one-point game, but the Lyons responded with a 5-1 run, capped by another ace from Keough to make it 20-16 and force SUNY Cobleskill into another timeout. A kill from Bishop would make it 22-18, before a kill from Simine and a kill from Bishop sealed the 25-19 set victory.

A 5-1 start to the fifth set for the Fighting Tigers forced the Lyons into a timeout, and following the break, Mount Holyoke College won three-straight points to make it a one-point game. Even at six apiece, a string of four-straight errors from the Lyons would give SUNY Cobleskill an 10-6 lead, forcing another timeout from the hosts. Following the break, the two sides traded points until the Fighting Tigers eventually prevailed in the set, 15-8, and in the match, 3-2.