KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2019) – The USMMA women's volleyball team split matches on day one of the 10th Annual Maritime Classic on Saturday at the Liebertz Gymnasium. The Mariners lost the first match, 3-1, to Maine Maritime, and then swept Massachusetts Maritime, 3-0, in the nightcap. In between the two Merchant Marine matches, Maine Maritime defeated SUNY Maritime in straight sets.
To view a photo gallery from the day, click here.
Match 1: Maine Maritime 3, USMMA 1
In the battle of the Mariners, Maine Maritime earned a six-point advantage in the first set, 9-3, after a kills from Rachel Melampy, Avery O'Neal, Maggie MacMahon, and Sydney Adams. Although USMMA fought hard to chip away at the gap, the closest Merchant Marine would come is within two points, 23-21, before the Maine Mariners cruised to a 25-21 win.
A revitalized USMMA team came to the court in the second set and dominated to a 13-5 lead early on and causing Maine Maritime to use their first timeout. Maine came out of the break posting an 11-4 run that made it a one-point set, 17-16. The two teams then battled point-for-point with four ties to 20-20. Led off a kill from senior Nicole Ibinson (Fredericksburg, Va.), Merchant Marine tallied a 6-2 run to close out the set, 25-22, and tie the match at 1-1.
Set three went to Maine Maritime, 25-18. USMMA tied the score twice in the opening plays, but Maine Maritime earned a three-point edge, 6-3, off a Sydney Adams ace and it seemed that they would never look back. However, Merchant Marine rallied on kills from freshman Paige Smith (Virginia Beach, Va.), sophomore Juliet Vendl (Colorado Spring, Colo.) and Ibinson to knot the score 15-15. USMMA never gained and advantage, though, as Maine Maritime reached set-point after a 9-3 rally, and a service ace by Jessica D'Auria closed out the set to give the Maine a 2-1 lead.
The fourth and final set saw five stalemates with five lead changes. The last tie was at 12-12 on a Maine Maritime attack error. However, Maine would reclaim the lead with three unanswered points and would not relinquish it. USMMA brought the set back within one point twice more, 16-15 and 17-16, but it was not enough. A late three-point rally made it a 23-20 set, but back-to-back kills from Melampy finished the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.
For Maine Maritime, Melampy led the match with 22 kills and was just shy of a double-double with nine digs. Adams dished out 40 assists and six aces, while Alexa Cacacie added 11 kills in the win.
Smith led USMMA with 13 kills and she also nearly had a double-double, picking up nine digs. Senior Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) dished out 30 assists and freshman libero Skyler Burnham (Reading, Pa.) had a match-best 16 digs. Sophomore Cadee Fromm (Enid, Okla.) posted a match-high six blocks to go along with six kills.
Match 2: USMMA 3, Mass. Maritime 0
The Mariners took advantage of the Buccaneers' -.263 hitting percentage (5k-20e/57ta) to cruise to a straight-set victory, 25-12, 25-8, 25-6. Merchant Marine hit .325 with 37 kills and 11 errors on 80 total attempts.
Smith led all players with 15 kills, while hitting at a .519 clip, and she also tied for the match-high with seven digs with fellow plebe Claire Hyun (Issaquah, Wash.), who was called on for libero duties in the Mariners' second match.
Fromm put down seven kills and classmates Brittney Pinzon (Fullerton, Calif.) and Caroline Elliott (Ridgewood, N.J.) recorded six and five kills, respectively, with Elliott hitting at .625. Kappas registered 30 assists for the second-straight match and Ibinson led all players with five service aces.
Up next, day two of the 10th Annual Maritime Classic continues on Sunday, Sept. 15, with Maine Maritime taking on Mass. Maritime in the opener at 10 a.m., followed by Mass. Maritime battling SUNY Maritime at 12-noon. USMMA will host the Privateers of SUNY Maritime in the finale of the tournament beginning around 2 p.m. at Liebertz Gymnasium in Kings Point, N.Y. Live stats and live video feeds for all three matches will be available with links on the USMMA Women's Volleyball Schedule Page.
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