HUNTINGDON, Pa. - One of the most noteworthy seasons in program history came to a close on Friday night for the Marymount University women's volleyball team, falling in the NCAA Tournament Regional Quarterfinals to former Capital Athletic Conference rival University of Mary Washington, 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-23).
After grabbing the first conference title in program history, the Saints (26-5) made their first appearance in the big dance on Friday at Juniata College. It was a battle from the start all the way to the finish between MU and the Eagles. A slow start had Marymount behind early in game one, eventually dropping a 25-19 decision.
It wasn't going to stay on the Saints' mind though, coming out swinging for 18 kills in the second set. Trailing by four late, Marymount capitalized on three Eagle errors and a strong kill by sophomore Mykael Johnson to draw the match even at 20-20. It was neck-and-neck the rest of the way, even seeing the Saints have it at set point four different times. However, UMW always answered, eventually getting set point itself at 28-27. Senior Caroline Hanson laid down one of her team-high 18 kills of the night to draw it even one more time, but the Eagles registered back-to-back kills to the extra-point second set, 30-28, to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third game didn't see more than a three-point spread between the two squads through much of the set until the Eagles hit a four-point stretch to take a 19-15 advantage. That was the largest lead the Eagles had in the set, as the Saints continued to battle and grab a lead at 23-22 after a 6-1 run. Needing just two points to send the match to a fourth set, Marymount surrendered three points to the Eagles on a block, a kill and a service ace.
Hanson and Johnson led the offense with 18 and 14 kills, respectively, while senior Emily Abramaitys contributed eight. Sophomore Maggie Viniard sent out 38 assists in the match, and sophomore Jasmine Roy dove out for a team-high 13 digs.
The Saints conclude the 2018 season with a 26-5 record, the best win percentage in program history and the least amount of losses in a single season.