Volleyball Opens Season with a Pair of Invitational Wins

Volleyball Opens Season with a Pair of Invitational Wins

Volleyball Opens Season with a Pair of Invitational Wins

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team opened the 2017 season with a pair of wins in the Virginia Wesleyan Invitational, defeating St. Catherine and Benedictine (Ill.) in straight-set wins.

3-0 Victory over St. Catherine (25-23, 25-15, 25-15)

The two squads went back and forth in the first set with neither team taking much of an advantage as the score was tied at 23 after a St. Catherine attack error got the ball back to the Marlins who sent Alyssa Taylor to the service line.

Emilee Pierson found Kristina Scott for the kill on the next point to set up set point and excite the crowd. Taylor rode that momentum with a service ace to put the first set away.

Virginia Wesleyan kept the pressure on St. Catherine as the young visiting squad struggled to rebound from a tough first set.

The Marlins won the first five points of the second set, and led 9-1 after consecutive setting errors from SCU. Doneisha Hall had two service aces while Scott and Dare Wright had two kills each in the spurt.

Virginia Wesleyan led 21-9, in large part to a defensive effort that held St. Catherine to a .051 hitting percentage in the second. SCU started a rally, scoring six of the next eight points to pull within 23-15. The Marlins scored the final two points in this set as well as kills by Amber Matalus and Elizabeth Britton earned a second set win.

The Marlins jumped out to another big lead, 6-1, in the third on three SCU errors, another Hall service ace, and kills by Scott and Matalus. Virginia Wesleyan commanded a large lead the duration of the third set as St. Catherine trailed by at least eight points for the majority of the contest.

Virginia Wesleyan got a tremendous third-set effort from Meghan Wood who had six of her 11 assists in the game.

Scott led the Marlins with 10 kills while Pierson paced the squad in digs, 19, and assists, 13.

Mackenzie Peper led St. Catherine (0-1) with nine kills while Meagan Schwarzrock contributed 12 assists to go with 18 digs from Payton Baker.

3-0 Victory over Benedictine (Ill.) (25-23, 25-23, 25-17)

The Marlins faced a much tougher battle in the second match of the day, defeating Benedictine (Ill.) after capturing narrow victories in the first two sets.

The Marlins led 23-21 in the first set when a kill by Hall off a Pierson assist brought VWU within one point of the win.

The Eagles answered with kills by Lauren Wieber and Rebecca Pacewic to pull back within a point, 24-23, but Scott finished off another Pierson assist to claim the first set.

The second set went back and forth with neither team able to claim much of a lead. Benedictine (Ill.) led 23-22 after a kill by Wieber. Looking to bring up set point, the Eagles served into the net to tie the contest back up. The Marlins capitalized with Allison Mackley on the service line as kills by Matalus and Hall finished off the comeback.

The final set was all Virginia Wesleyan as the Marlins scored 11 of the first 14 points, leading by at least seven the whole way.

Hall led the Marlins with 12 kills while Pierson added 26 assists and Mackley contributed 19 digs.

Wieber led Benedictine (Ill.) (0-2) with 10 kills on a .476 hitting percentage.

Virginia Wesleyan (2-0) hosts Marymount (Va.) (2-0) at 2 p.m. on Saturday before facing Goucher (0-0) at 4 p.m.