AIKEN, S.C. – The Merrimack College women’s volleyball team played in its first two matches of the USC Aiken Invitational on Friday evening, falling to Eckerd in straight sets before a four-set defeat to Mount Olive.
Score: Eckerd 3, Merrimack 0 (25-16 | 25-17 | 25-13)
Score: Mount Olive 3, Merrimack 0 (25-18 | 25-19 | 20-25 | 25-18)
Records: Merrimack (1-5) | Eckerd (5-0) | Mount Olive (4-2)
Location: Aiken, S.C.
How It Happened (Eckerd)
- 1st set – With the set tied at nine points apiece, the Tritons went on an 8-0 run to double up the Warriors at 18-9. The Warriors went on a 4-1 run late in the set that included kills from Jennifer Cain (Melrose, Mass.) andJuliette McCall (Torrance, Calif.), but Eckerd closed the frame out, 25-16
- 2nd set – The Tritons took 10 of the first 12 points to open an eight-point lead, but the Navy and Gold recovered to make it a five-point deficit on three occasions, but could not get any closer
- 3rd set – Early on, Freshman Julia Stewart (Melville, N.Y.) sent a kill to the court to give Merrimack a 3-1 advantage. Five points later, however, Eckerd took the lead for good and won the match in straight sets
How It Happened (Mount Olive)
- 1st set – A back-and-forth opener, neither squad led by more than three points until late in the set. Back-to-back kills from McCall gave the Warriors a 10-8 advantage. With the score at 11-10 Merrimack, the Trojans recorded four straight points to take the lead back. Another 4-0 run to end the set gave Mount Olive the victory, 25-18
- 2nd set – Through 20 points the score was tied at 10-all, but the Trojans went on a 5-0 run to pull ahead. Trailing 17-11, a kill from Mary Kate McCarroll (Harrison, Ohio) started a 3-0 spurt for the Warriors to climb within three points. The Warriors did not get any closer, however, allowing the Trojans to enter the final set with a 2-0 lead
- 3rd set – Outside of the first point, the Warriors never trailed in third. Freshman Catherine Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.) hit a kill to put the Warriors up by four, their largest lead to that point. The Trojans battled back to tie things up at 20, but Merrimack ended the set on a 5-0 run, which included kills from Cain, Stewart and Stuhr
- 4th set – The Trojans controlled the final set, only trailing following the first point. A combination block from Stuhr and McCarroll brought the Warriors within two, 18-16, but four straight points from Mount Olive put the set and match out of reach
Inside The Numbers
- Senior setter Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) combined for 48 assists and 16 digs on the day. The senior setter now has three doube-doubles through six matches this season
- McCall was effective on the outside for the Warriors, totaling 13 kills between the two matches on 32 attacks while only committing eight errors
- After not posting a block against Eckerd, the Navy and Gold rebounded to total 10 stuffs against the Trojans, led by three from Flaherty
- Speaking of the rookie, Flaherty now leads the team with 12 total blocks, averaging 0.55 per set
The Warriors complete tournament play on Saturday with two matches, beginning at 10 a.m. against Montevallo. Merrimack concludes the four-match weekend at 2 p.m. against Belmont Abbey.