WC 10 Matches Over .500 For The First Time Since 1989
CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Host Washington College won its first match in nine years after losing the first two sets as the Shorewomen downed visiting Catholic, 3-2 (17-25, 19-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-8) on Tuesday night at the Cain Athletic Center in a non-conference volleyball match. Washington is now 16-6 overall, while the Cardinals drop to 14-12. The Shorewomen are now 10 matches over .500 for the first time since the 1989 finale when the team finished 24-14.
Prior to tonight, the last time Washington won a five set match after dropping the first two was nine years ago tomorrow on October 16, 2004 at Ursinus (25-30, 27-30, 30-17, 30-28, 15-8).
In the third set, the Shorewomen jumped out to a 16-8 lead on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Kristin Lee (Dayton, Md./River Hill). The Cardinals however scored the next eight points to tie the set at 16-16 on an attack error by the hosts. Catholic led 22-20 before Washington went on a set closing 5-1 run to keep the match alive. A service ace by senior right-side hitter Emily Hoyle (Santa Rita, Guam/Guam) gave WC the lead for good at 23-22 and a kill by sophomore middle hitter Jess Daunoras (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) gave the hosts the set victory, 25-23.
The fourth set saw Catholic three points away from set and match victory at 22-19 when the Shorewomen went on a set closing 7-2 run to force a decisive fifth set. A kill by senior setter Lauren White (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) gave WC its first lead since 15-14 at 23-22. The Cardinals won the next two points to take a 24-23 lead on a Bridget Kulesh kill and led to a Washington timeout. A Daunoras kill tied the match at 24-24 and an attack miscue by Catholic gave WC the lead at 25-24. The Shorewomen clinched the set on a White kill to give the hosts a 26-24 win.
In the fifth set, the teams were tied 2-2 and it looked like Catholic was going to take a 3-2 lead on an assisted block, but White was able to keep it alive with a touch and freshman hitter Rachel Baker (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) was able to make a diving play to keep the play going well beyond the end line. Freshman defensive specialist Audrey Utchen (San Ramon, Calif./Monte Vista) was able to bump the ball over and the ball landed on Catholic's side of the court for the kill. It was Utchen's lone kill of the match. The kill sparked a 9-3 run that ended up giving the Shorewomen an 11-5 lead on a Daunoras finisher and led to a Catholic timeout. The Cardinals got it to within 13-8 on a Mary Paige Nesfeder kill, but a Daunoras kill made it 14-8 and Baker clinched the set, match and comeback with a service ace to give the Shorewomen the win at 15-8. Washington hit .312 in the fifth and decisive set.
In the first set, Catholic outscored Washington 12-2 in the final 14 points to turn a 15-13 deficit into a 25-17 victory. A Nesfeder kill put Catholic up for good in the opening set at 16-15 and a Nesfeder service ace clinched the set for the visitors.
The second set saw the guests use an 11-3 run to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 13-6 lead on a Nesfeder kill. The Cardinals eventually took an 11-point lead at 24-13 on an attack error by the Shorewomen. After WC won six straight points to cut it to 24-19, Kathryn Harrington ended second set with a kill to give the Cardinals the six-point win.
For the Shorewomen, Lee had her team leading 11th double-double of the year with 17 kills and 21 digs, while tying her career-high with a match-best four service aces. Freshman outside hitter Caitlin Cooney (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) had 16 kills to join Lee in double figures in kills. Utchen had a personal-best 23 digs to lead the team, while Hoyle and Baker each notched career-bests in digs with 17 and 16 respectively. Hoyle's previous high in digs was nine which was this past Saturday in a five-set victory over Dickinson. Daunoras had six blocks to lead everybody, while White handed out 42 assists. Baker also totaled a career-high in assists with six. The team had 10 blocks in the win.
Nesfeder had 22 kills for the Cardinals to lead all players and added 12 digs to notch a double-double. She also had three aces to lead the team. Mariana Cruz had a double-double with a match-high 43 assists and added 14 digs. Michelle Bouchard had 35 digs to lead all participants, while Kalen Backe totaled 20 digs. Harrington had five blocks to pace Catholic, which had nine in the contest.
There were 26 ties and 15 lead changes in the match.
Washington travels to Franklin & Marshall for a tri-match on Saturday in Lancaster, Pa. The Shorewomen will play host F&M in a Centennial Conference match at noon and play a non-conference contest versus Albright at 2:00 p.m.