HUNTINGDON, Pa. – At the Wid Guisler Invitational hosted by No. 19 Juniata on Saturday, the Wesleyan University volleyball team split its doubleheader against the Eagles and Susquehanna. The Cardinals dropped a close three-set match to No. 19 Juniata early in the day (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) but came back with a vengeance, triumphing over Susquehannah 3-1 (25-13, 19-25, 25-16, 25-18). Wesleyan is now 17-4 on the season.
MATCH 1 HIGHLIGHTS VS. JUNIATA:
- In the first set, Juniata led for the majority, but Wesleyan was never far behind. The Eagles and the Cardinals tied it up ten times throughout the set until the final points. The Eagles sealed a close victory with a kill by Alyssa Tavera off an assist from Katie Byrne, 25-23.
- Wesleyan led for the beginning of the second set, rattling off five unanswered points culminating with a kill from Madeleine Lundberg '19 off an assist from Phia Bellizzi '21. However, the Eagles caught up with a tie at 21-21 and eventually took the second set in another close battle, 25-23.
- In the third set, Wesleyan opened on a strong note with 5-0 run but Juniata was quick to catch up and tied the game at 7-7. The rest of the set went back-and-forth between the Cardinals and the Eagles, but in the final moments of the match, the Eagles pulled ahead winning the last set 25-22 with a kill from MaryBeth Weinbrecht off an assist from Tavera.
- Lundberg led the Cardinals with 10 kills and a .444 hitting percentage, while Stasie Litinsky '20 added nine kills and a .348 attack mark. Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 and Grace Rose '21 dished out 20 and 14 assists, respectively, and Bellizzi totaled a match-high 19 digs.
- Weinbrecht and Megan Moroney of Juniata both registered 11 kills, while Tavera totaled a team-high 19 assists. Byrne led in digs, earning 14.
- It was the Eagles' second win over Wesleyan this season, as they earned a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 23 as well.
MATCH 2 HIGHLIGHTS VS. SUSQUEHANNA:
- Wesleyan was very efficient in the first set and totaled 13 kills with just one error for a .500 hitting percentage en route to a commanding 25-13 victory.
- In a close second game, that went back-and-forth often, the River Hawks rallied late by scoring six of the final eight points to even the match at 1-1 (25-19).
- Tied at 12-12 in the third, Wesleyan went on an 8-1 stretch to pull away. The Cardinals also closed out the game with another run as they scored five of the final six points to win 25-16.
- Wesleyan took a 6-5 lead early in the fourth and final set, and never looked back. A kill from Graves off an assist from Rose would seal the victory, 3-1 (25-18).
- Graves posted a match-high 13 kills with a .323 hitting percentage and Nicole Hilton '20 added 12 kills on 19 attempts with just two errors for an impressive .526 attack clip. Rose dished out 25 assists and Muraoka-Robertson added 22, while Bellizzi led the defense with 27 digs and Graves totaled 14. Gabby Bennett '20 was a force at the net, recording four solo blocks and two block assists.
- Morgan Lowe led Susquehanna with 13 kills, while Sydney Portale and Hannah Lyons each added 10. Julie Kreutzer led the team with 15 assists and Caroline Beohm recorded a team-high 17 digs.
- Wesleyan continues league play Friday, Oct. 27th and will host NESCAC opponent Bowdoin at home in the Freeman Athletic Center beginning at 8 p.m