KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 1, 2019) – Freshman outside hitter Paige Smith (Virginia Beach, Va.) registered her 13th match with double-digit kills as she led the USMMA women's volleyball team to a 3-0 rout of Mount St. Mary in Skyline Conference action Tuesday evening at the Liebertz Gym. The final set scores were 25-18, 25-15, and 25-15. With the victory, the Mariners improved to 11-5 on the season and remain undefeated in Skyline Conference action, 4-0. The Knights dropped to 7-10 overall and evened to 2-2 in league play.
Smith's 14 kills were a match-best and sophomore outside hitter Taylor Gilbertson (Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied 12 kills for the Mariners. Gilbertson also served up a match-best four aces. Senior setter Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) dished out 29 assists with seven digs, including a couple which were very acrobatic, two aces and a block, while senior libero Nicole Ibinson (Fredericksburg, Va.) scooped up 11 digs.
For the Knights, Grace Riddle led with eight kills, two aces and a block. Renee Hydo chipped in with five kills, an ace and 11 digs.
Although the Mariners took an early 6-1 lead in the first set, the Knights rallied with five unanswered points to tie the set 6-6. Smith reclaimed the lead for USMMA with a kill off an assist by Kappas and a Kappas ace put the Mariners ahead for good, 8-6. Mount St. Mary did not make it easy though by bringing the set back within one point on two occasions before a kill from Gilbertson opened a USMMA 6-0 run to close out the set, 25-18.
The second set was deja-vu as the Mariners earned an early lead and the Knights fought back, this time knotting the set at 9-9 on a solo block by Riddle. Back-to-back successful attacks from Gilbertson and Kappas pushed USMMA ahead once again, 11-9. Two mini rallies fueled by Gilbertson at 12-10 and by Smith at 16-11 brought the Mariners to a 20-13 edge. The Knights earned just two more points before USMMA won the set, 25-15.
In the third set it was USMMA that had to fight back to knot the score and then take the advantage for good. The opening plays of the third set provided the Knights with their only leads of the match before three straight kills from Smith tied the set and put the Mariners ahead, 4-2. USMMA then cruised to a 25-15 third set win and a 3-0 match triumph.
The USMMA women's volleyball team returns to action on Thursday night, Oct. 3, on the road at Farmingdale State. First serve in the Skyline Conference match is slated for 7 p.m. at the Rams' Lynch Sports Center. Live stats and live video feed of the match will be available with a link on the USMMA Women's Volleyball Schedule Page.
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