KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2017) – The #2-seed USMMA women's volleyball team defeated visiting #3-seed St. Joseph's of Long Island, 3-0, on Wednesday night at the Liebertz Gymnasium in the semifinals of the 2017 Skyline Conference Championships. With the victory, the Mariners improve to 16-7, while the Golden Eagles end the season with a 15-14 record.
In other Skyline semifinal action, #4-seed Mount St. Vincent defeated top-seed Farmingdale State on the road, 3-2, which means the Mariners will host the #4 CMSV Dolphins this Saturday night, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. for the Skyline Championship. This is the second-straight season that Merchant Marine will host the Skyline Finals.
Back in Kings Point, the Mariners won with straight-set scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-20. To view a photo gallery of Thursday night's action, follow this link.
Three Mariners recorded double-doubles, with senior Dominique Pope (Silver Spring, Md.) leading the way with a match-high 15 kills and 24 digs to go along with four service aces, which also led all players. Pope hit at a team-best .361 clip on the night (15k-2e-36ta). Sophomore setter Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) dished out 41 assists and picked up 10 digs and junior Kate Lefler (Norman, Okla.) added 13 kills and 10 digs.
Seniors Mcykenzie Toler (Prunedale, Calif.) and Kayla Gleason (Sound Beach, N.Y.) also chipped in defensively with 15 and 11 digs, respectively. Gleason added five kills on the night, as did senior Tichina Carmon (Greenville, N.C.) and junior Megan Toler (Prunedale, Calif.). Carmon also put down a team-high two blocks.
USMMA built up a 7-0 lead in the first set to start the night, but St. Joseph's rallied back to tie the score at 14-14. Later in the set, the Mariners worked their lead back up to 20-16 and held on for the 25-21 victory.
It was St. Joe's that started strong in the second set, as the Golden Eagles started on a 7-3 run before advancing their lead to 12-7. Merchant Marine fought back to tie the set up at 14-all and then went ahead with the next two points as well. Play was back-and-forth until the Mariners started to pull away late, building up a 23-19 lead and the two teams traded the next four points, giving USMMA another 25-21 win.
In the final set, the Mariners started to distance themselves early – taking leads of 13-7, 16-10 and 20-14. Despite the Golden Eagles' best efforts late, USMMA went on for the 25-20 set win and match victory.
For St. Joseph's, junior Kristen Bohnenblusch led the way with eight kills and senior Claire Urizzo and freshman Kaitlin Williams both added seven kills each. Bohnenblusch also picked up a team-high 18 digs, while junior Danielle Senecal had 17 and senior Keilly Estacuy contributed 15 digs. Senior setter Jessica Monteserrato dished out 20 assists to lead the Golden Eagles.
Again, the 2017 Skyline Conference Championship Final match will be held at the Liebertz Gymnasium this Saturday night, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. The winner of that match will claim the Skyline Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, with regional action beginning next week.
Live stats and a live video feed of the championship match will be available with links on the USMMA Women's Volleyball Schedule Page.
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