Volleyball Earns Victory in Marathon Match

Lauren Topper (L) set a career high with 18 kills on Thursday. Photo by: Sebastian Burke
Lauren Topper (L) set a career high with 18 kills on Thursday. Photo by: Sebastian Burke

Volleyball Earns Victory in Marathon Match

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. -- The Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team captured a five-set victory over St. Mary's (Md.) College on Thursday night in a match that lasted just over two hours. The Marlins defeated St. Mary's 30-32, 25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12.

St. Mary's led for much of the first set, holding a 24-21 lead and attempt to serve out for the set. Amber Matalus posted a block to side out for the Marlins. She then stepped to the service line where a kill by Doneisha Hall and a Seahawk attack error tied the contest. Matalus served an ace on the next point to give VWU a 25-24 lead, but St. Mary's rallied back with a block and kill to go up 26-25.

The two teams went back and forth with both have multiple set points. Virginia Wesleyan led 30-29 when an attack error by the Marlins evened it back to 30-all. Hannah Krauss registered a kill to put the hosts up 31-30, before a bad set by the Marlins ended the set.

The second set belonged to the Marlins as VWU led the entire set. Virginia Wesleyan led by just 14-12 midway through the set, but the guests closed on an 11-3 run to even the match at a set a piece.

The third set went back and forth again as neither team was able to take larger than a three point lead. St. Mary's held a narrow 23-21 lead, looking to collect two more points to swing the set momentum back to the home crowd. The Marlins responded with a 4-0 run though to deflate the hopes of the Seahawks. A service error started the rally before two attack errors put the Marlins up 24-23. A Dare Wright kill ended the set.

The fourth set was about runs as both teams would go on spurts, looking to either even the sets at two or clinch a match victory.

Leading 19-15, St. Mary's went on a 4-0 run that proved to be critical in winning the fourth set. The Seahawks needed every bit of the eight-point lead as the Marlins went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 23-20. St. Mary's was forced to call a timeout to settle its energy after the VWU run, and the break worked as the Seahawks won the next two points for force a fifth set.

Virginia Wesleyan led most of the fifth set, but St. Mary's never went away, trailing by no more than four points.

The Marlins led 13-10 after a Hall kill on a Meghan Wood assist. St. Mary's responded with a kill and a VWU error to pull within a point, 13-12.

Lauren Topper extended the Marlin lead with a kill off an Emilee Pierson assist. Alyssa Taylor subbed in and stepped to the service line, sending an ace over the net to clinch the road victory.

Kelley led St. Mary's (3-21) with 25 kills and 18 digs as Mia Griffiths tallied 44 assists.

Topper finished with a career-high 18 kills as Matalus added 11 kills, 24 digs, and five service aces.

Virginia Wesleyan (17-9) host Salisbury University Friday at 6 p.m. It will be Senior Night for the Marlins as the squad recognizes the class of 2018.