Posted: Oct 26, 2019
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team fought back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat Roanoke in a 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-6) battle before falling in a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-14) final against No. 24 ranked Susquehanna at the Emory Invitational on Saturday.
Roanoke used a big run late in the first set to turn a 20-16 Saint Mary's lead into a 22-21 lead for the Maroons. The Belles pulled even at 22-22 with a service error by Roanoke, but the Maroons posted the next three points for the first-set win. In the second stanza, Roanoke took the first nine points and never trailed despite a furious comeback effort by the Belles in a 25-23 final. In the pivotal third set, Saint Mary's broke a 16-16 tie with a 5-2 scoring spurt. Roanoke edged within two points of the lead, but the Belles stayed alive with the 25-22 win. The fourth set was all Saint Mary's from start to finish as the Belles posted a .364 attack percentage and never trailed en route to the 25-15 win. After two early ties in the decisive fifth set, the Belles used a 5-0 run to turn a 4-3 lead into a 9-3 advantage. A four-point spurt all but put the match away with the Belles up 14-5 before clinching the win with the 15-6 win.
Nicole Lukens and Megan Collantes each had 21 kills and posted hitting percentages above .250 to help pace the Belles. Lukens added 22 digs while Collantes chipped in 10 digs. Lindsey Pelletier hit at a .571 clip with 13 kills. Morgan VanderWey collected 47 assists and 19 digs, and Brittney Tarkanyi picked up 22 digs. Nola Wallace put down four blocks.
The Belles had trouble getting the offense going against the No. 24 ranked squad from Susquehanna in the second match of the day. Saint Mary's was held to 16 kills and had 18 errors on 93 attempts in the three-set match while the River Hawks tallied a .267 attack percentage in the contest. In the second set of the match, the score was tied 10 times with four lead changes. The River Hawks gained a 15-12 edge, but the Belles forced the issue by battling back to tie the score at 19-19. A block and back-to-back kills by Susquehanna, however, shifted the momentum away from Saint Mary's in the tightest stanza of the match.
Lukens and Collantes each had six kills in the match. Lukens picked up nine digs, and Collantes added eight. Brittney Tarkanyi tallied seven digs, and Morgan VanderWey posted 13 assists.
The Belles (11-15) return to the Midwest and travel to Kalamazoo on Tuesday for a conference match starting at 7:00 p.m.