Volleyball Splits in Season Opener in New York

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y.  – The Merrimack College women’s volleyball program rebounded for a tournament-opening loss to Molloy College by sweeping Chestnut Hill, 3-0, on Friday afternoon to salvage a split of the Warriors’ first two matches on Friday in the Long Island Invitational hosted at Molloy College. The win over the Griffins marked the first victory for new head coach Jeff Costa.

The Basics
Score (Match 1): 
Molloy 3, Merrimack 0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-20)
Score (Match 2): Merrimack 3, Chestnut Hill 0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-18)
Records: Merrimack (1-1) | Molloy (0-0) | Chestnut Hill ()
Location: Quealy Gymnasium | Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Box Scores: Molloy | Chestnut Hill

Long Island Invitational
Friday, Sept. 1 (@ Molloy College)
Match 1: Molloy def. Merrimack, 3-0
Match 2: Merrimack def. Chestnut Hill, 3-0

Match 3: Molloy def. Chestnut Hill, 3-1

Saturday, Sept. 2 (@ LIU Post)
Match 1: Merrimack vs. LIU Post – 10 a.m.
Match 2: Jefferson Univ. vs. Merrimack – 12 p.m.

Match 3: Jefferson Univ. vs. LIU Post – 2 p.m.

Set Breakdown (Molloy)

  • Set 1 – Molloy won five of the first six points and 11 of the first 14 to build an eight-point advantage. A pair of 4-0 runs later in the set – featuring kills from senior Mary Kate McCarroll (Harrison, Ohio) and service aces from Katelynn Marr (Franklin, Mass.) and sophomore Rosie Sperduto(Brentwood, Tenn.) – brought the Warriors within five at 23-19, but Molloy recovered to win the frame
  • Set 2 – The Lions opened the set with 12 unanswered points to dispatch the Warriors, winning the game by a 25-8 margin and moving within one set of the match
  • Set 3 – With Molloy storming out of the gates to take a 7-1 advantage, a 9-3 Merrimack run headlined by consecutive service aces from junior Amanda Cain (Melrose, Mass.) brought Merrimack within one, 10-9. The Warriors never pulled even, as the Lions kept their visitors at arms length. With the score at 23-16, aces from senior Christina Nye (Plaistow, N.H.) were part of a 3-0 spurt to cut the deficit to four, but that was a close as the Navy and Gold would get

Set Breakdown (Chestnut Hill)

  • Set 1 – A back-and-forth opening frame swung in favor of the Griffins when a 7-1 run turned a 14-all deadlock into a 21-15 game. With Chestnut Hill facing a set point at 24-21, Merrimack scored four straight with two kills from McCarroll and an ace for Sperduto. Tied at 26-26, freshman Karina Anderson (Newbury Park, Calif.) notched consecutive points to give Merrimack the come-from-behind win, 28-26
  • Set 2 – Merrimack again executed a comeback in the second game. Chestnut Hill led by three, 12-9, but a 5-0 run featuring points from sophomore Catherine Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.), Marr and junior Sofia Basauri (Beaverton, Ore.) gave Merrimack its first lead of the game. Later in the set, Flaherty brought the Warriors to set point with and kill and a Griffins error gave the Warriors a 2-0 advantage
  • Set 3 – The start of the third game saw three ties before either team reached 10 points, but Merrimack answered with runs of at least three points on each occasion to maintain its advantage. Marr totaled five kills in the set while McCarroll struck the match-clincher at 25-18

Team Leaders (MC // MOL)

  • Kills:  Mary Kate McCarroll (10) // Hailey Wehr (11)
  • Assists: Rosie Sperduto (11) // Sophia Smith (27)
  • Digs: Christina Nye (14) // Francesc Castellano (11)

Team Leaders (MC // CHC)

  • Kills: Katelynn Marr (14) // Reily Byxbee (12)
  • Assists: Sperduto (39) // Kennedy Sutton (22)
  • Digs: Nye & Catherine Flaherty  (17) // Peyton Reno (18)

Notes and Notables

  • Marr established a new career-best with 14 kills against Chestnut Hill, the first time she reached double figures in her career
  • Sperduto ended her first day as Merrimack’s starting setter with 39 helpers, totaling 50 overall
  • Flaherty’s 17 digs in the nightcap marked a new personal best for the sophomore. She did not have more than six digs in a single contest in 2016
  • McCarroll’s 21 kills led the way for the day for the Navy and Gold, while Nye’s 31 digs paced the Merrimack defense
  • Anderson was the lone Warrior to make her team debut on Friday. She finished her first-ever collegiate performance with five kills on 12 attacks for a team-best .333 hitting percentage among players with at least 10 attacks

Up Next
The Warriors wrap up play on Long Island tomorrow afternoon by making the short drive to LIU Post to take on the Pioneers (10 a.m.) and Jefferson University (12 p.m.).

About Mike McMahon 6221 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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