Purchase, NY - The USMMA volleyball team saved eight set points in the fourth frame before putting away the Manhattanville Valiants, 27-25, and taking a tightly contested 3-1 decision. Four Mariners recorded double-digit digs, including Michelle Danhof (San Antonio, TX) who posted a match high 20 to go along with 11 kills. Cassandra Palma (Loomis, CA) also notched a double-double with 11 kills and 18 digs while freshman Jordy Macbeth (Orlando, FL) tallied 10 kills along with a .444 hitting percentage. The victory gives USMMA its fourth straight win to start the 2013 season.
Merchant Marine (4-0) ran away with the opening set, breaking a 12-12 tie by rattling off ten consecutive points off the serve of Jennifer Perkins (North Attleboro, MA). The surge included five of the Mariners ten service aces of the match and resulted in a 25-13 triumph for the visitors.
USMMA continued its momentum in the second set, hammering down 16 kills in the game and recording a match high .367 hitting percentage. The Mariners built a 17-12 edge but the Valiants refused to go quietly and closed to within one at 19-18. However, Merchant Marine was stronger down the stretch and a service error sealed a 25-22 verdict.
Manhattanville (3-1) capitalized on ten USMMA attack errors in the third set and held what appeared to be a comfortable 20-12 lead. This time it was the Mariners who made a late surge as a Perkins kill closed the gap to 23-21. But the Valiants would claim the next two points and force a fourth set with a 25-21 victory.
Merchant Marine looked to be facing a fifth and deciding set as the home team had six set points and a large margin at 24-17. Paige Queen (Falcon, CO), who also had 23 assists, served seven straight points and tough USMMA defense got the Mariners level at 24-24. Kelly Hodges (Lakewood, CO) saved the eighth set point with one of her seven kills to make it 25-25. The junior Perkins had the final two swings of the match, sending down back-to-back kills to complete Merchant Marine's dramatic 27-25 comeback win, and seal the match, 3-1.
The USMMA volleyball team will look for a fifth straight win Saturday afternoon as they take on John Jay at O'Hara Hall. Game time is set for 12:00 pm.