Mariners Claim 2013 Kings Point Invitational Title; Defeat CCNY & Farmingdale St.

Cassandra Palma
Cassandra Palma

Kings Point, NY – The USMMA volleyball team completed a perfect opening weekend of the 2013 season, claiming their own tournament for the second straight year, with 3-0 victories over CCNY and Farmingdale St. Saturday inside O'Hara Hall.  Cassandra Palma (Loomis, CA) was named Tournament MVP after recording double-digit kills in every match.  Freshman Jordy Macbeth (Orlando, FL) also secured a spot on the All-Tournament Team after hitting .438 and posting eight blocks on the weekend.

Merchant Marine (3-0) opened day two of the tournament with a 3-0 sweep of CCNY in which the Mariners dominated at the net.  USMMA recorded 11 blocks in the match with junior Jennifer Perkins (North Attleboro, MA) earning seven total blocks, one solo and six assists.  The Mariners dropped in nine service aces in the opening game, including three from Perkins, en route to a 25-19 win. 

CCNY (1-2) claimed four straight points late in the middle set to grab a 23-19 and burn the Mariners' final timeout.  The Beavers had a pair of set points at 24-22 following a USMMA attack error.  However, Merchant Marine responded with back-to-back points on kills from Michelle Danhof (San Antonio, TX) and Palma to level the score line at 24-24.  Danhof gave USMMA set point with a service ace and Palma hammered home one of her match high 11 kills to end the set, 26-24, and put the home team up 2-0 overall.

The Mariners ran away with the third set, opening up a comfortable 12-3 cushion and eventually cruised to a 25-16 victory that secured the 3-0 sweep.  Perkins supplied four kills and four blocks in the final frame as the Mariners hit at a .192 clip.  Riley Huelbig (Poolesville, MD) dished out 14 assists in the match while Paige Queen (Falcon, CO) added 10 helpers of her own. 

Merchant Marine wrapped up the weekend with its best hitting performance of the tournament, notching 46 kills against Farmingdale State.  The Mariners got five kills in the opening set from Charlene Swick (Incline Village, NV) as USMMA netted 17 kills along with a .250 hitting mark.  Macbeth supplied the final kill on one of Huelbig's 32 assists to give the home team the 25-20 victory.

Farmingdale State appeared to be in control of the second set and held a 21-17 advantage before USMMA Head Coach Iain Bradbury called for a timeout.  The first year head coach's team responded by winning five straight points as well as taking the momentum.  Macbeth again came up huge late as she powered down another set point to end the frame, 28-26.  Macbeth totaled eight kills and did not make an error in the match, good for a superb .667 hitting percentage. 

The Mariners engineered a 9-3 run midway through the final set to take a commanding 19-12 lead.  Palma would fittingly end the tournament with one of her 14 kills of the contest to claim the set, 25-17, and the match 3-0.  A pair of freshman anchored the USMMA defense as Darin Zacharias (Virginia Beach, VA) posted a match high 12 digs and Amanda See (Waukesha, WI) chipped in seven digs of her own.

The USMMA volleyball team returns to action Wednesday night as they travel to Manhattanville to take on the Valiants at 7:00 pm. 

2013 Kings Point Invitational All-Tournament Team

Cassandra Palma – USMMA (MVP)
Jordy Macbeth – USMMA
Hannah Bailey – Wentworth
Amanda Husson – Wentworth
Sarah Palladino – Farmingdale St.
Leticia Marotti – CCNY