Saints Push Stevenson to the Brink, But Fall in Home Opener

Saints Push Stevenson to the Brink, But Fall in Home Opener

ARLINGTON, Va. - Led by juniors Caroline Hanson and Emily Abramaitys, the Marymount women's volleyball team pushed regional power Stevenson to a win by two scenario in the first and third sets, but the Saints could not get over the hump as they fell in their home opener Wednesday night at Verizon Sports Arena, 27-25, 25-19, 28-26.

Marymount (4-5), who handed the Mustangs their only loss in 13 home matches a year ago, was looking to be just the fourth opponent to take a set off Stevenson as the Mustangs have won 30 out of 34 sets this season. The Saints did manage to force them to a two-point margin of victory scenario for just the fourth and fifth time this year.

The match featured 25 ties and five lead changes, but attack errors in the first and third sets gave Stevenson the two-point margin needed to escape with the victory.

Hanson finished with a team-high 13 kills while hitting .273 and adding nine digs. Abramaitys has 12 kills and a .250 hitting percentage.

The junior tandem combined for 11 of the team's 16 kills in the opening set with Hanson totaling seven. After Stevenson (10-0) jumped out to a 7-3 lead, the Saints used a 5-2 run to pull within one, but they couldn't any closer, trailing by no more than two before tying the set at 23-23. Back-to-back errors by the Mustangs had Marymount serving at set point, 25-24, but three-straight points, the last coming an error by the Saints, gave the Stevenson the early lead.

Marymount looked unphased as it took a 5-1 lead in the second set, but the Mustangs responded with a 6-2 spurt to tie the set at 7-7. From there, the set would see four more ties before an 8-2 run gave Stevenson a commanding six-point advantage, 20-14, which would be its margin of victory.

The third set went back and forth, featuring 12 ties and two lead changes, with neither team able to take more than a three-point lead. With the Mustangs leading 23-20, a kill by freshman Ayanna Moore, a service ace by freshman Jasmine Roy and a Stevenson attack error, tied the game at 24-24. After two more ties, the last coming at 26-26, a Mustang kill and a Marymount attack error gave Stevenson the sweep.

Moore and Abramaitys each totaled five kills in the third set while combining for a .296 hitting percentage. Moore finished with eight kills.

Freshman Maggie Viniard totaled a career-high 25 assists to go along with 11 assists in her fourth-straight start after missing the first four matches of the season due to injury. Junior Celine Nguyen and sophomore Theresa Buscemi each had nine digs while senior Christy Tieman added 10 assists.

Marymount returns to action next Tuesday when it travels to Randolph-Macon for its ninth road match out of 10 this season. Match time is at 7:00 p.m.