RADNOR, Pa. – The Marymount University women's volleyball team made history on Saturday evening, capturing the first-ever Atlantic East Conference championship for the first-ever conference title in program history. The second-seeded Saints downed top-seeded Cabrini University, 3-1, on the road for the win.
"This year, we were doing the right things, building strong relationships, and working really hard," Head Coach Beth Ann Wilson said. "We had the right group of players, coaches, and support staff to make it happen."
A hard-fought first game set the tone for the match, as the teams battled into extra points for a 33-31 score in the Saints' favor.
Sophomore Myah Cordrey put down a kill to give Marymount its biggest lead of the first frame, 13-9, but Cabrini stormed back with a run to take a 19-15 edge.
The Cavaliers led until Cordrey used a service ace to tie the game at 22-22. The teams traded points from there, until Cabrini held match point at 31-30.
Hanson was named the tournament Most Valuable Player for her efforts, after leading the team with 20 kills and a match- and new career-high 24 digs. She also added four blocks and a service ace in the match.
"I did not expect to be named MVP," Hanson said. "I have just been playing my own game, and I guess that I just played my own game as well as I possibly could and did what I normally do."
Hanson and sophomore Mykael Johnson got things going in the second set with three kills each, helping the Saints take an 8-5 lead. The offense continued to roll, as three more Johnson kills, along with two each from senior Emily Abramaitys and Hanson helped build the lead to 19-13.
Despite the Cavaliers coming back to cut the advantage to only one, 19-18, the Saints held on to take the two-set lead, capping the second with a kill from Johnson.
Cabrini took the lead early in the third set, and despite Marymount continuing to battle back, the Cavaliers were able to hold on to force the fourth frame.
Abramaitys tallied two kills, as the Saints opened with a 5-2 lead in the fourth.
Staying true to the match, the teams continued to go back and forth in the early moments of the set, but the Saints held strong.
Trailing 11-10, kills from Johnson, Cordrey, and Abramaitys regained the lead, 13-11, and Marymount would not look back from there.
Just as the first set would end, the Saints capped their championship victory with a block, this time by Hanson and Cordrey.
"This is a new chapter in the program," Wilson added. "We have a new conference, and historically, it is always nice to be labeled as the first champion, so that adds a little extra."
Abramaitys and Johnson tallied 16 and 15 kills, respectively, while sophomore Maggie Viniard posted a career-high 60 assists to feed the offense in the match. Defensively, sophomore Jasmine Roy set a career-high with 23 digs, while junior Theresa Buscemi notched 16 and Viniard tallied 15.
The Saints will now look to the NCAA Division III Selection Show on Monday, November 5 at 12:30 p.m., looking to earn a Pool 'B' bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III tournament. Log on to www.marymountsaints.com for more information, as it becomes available.