HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Susquehanna volleyball team began its 2014 season at the Haverford Invitational with four-set victories over UMass-Boston and Stevenson, two teams that went deep into last year's NCAA Tournament.
The Crusaders opened the day with a convincing 3-1 win against 22nd-ranked UMass-Boston.
After winning the first set 25-18, SU dropped the second to the Beacons of UMass-Boston by a score of 22-25. From there, it was all Susquehanna, as the team won the next two sets 28-26 and 25-18.
Sophomore Erin Byrne (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) led with a double-double, recording a team-high 10 kills along with 11 digs. Also reaching double figures in digs were sophomore Maggie O'Hearn (Mountville, Pa. / Hempfield) with 14 in addition to a team-high 23 assists and junior Sarah Paluck (Nesquehoning, Pa. / Tamaqua Area), who had 19.
Senior Hayley Dunkel (Pottsville, Pa. / Pottsville Area) recorded six kills and two blocks assists and junior Kady Faller (Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township) added seven kills.
The Crusaders won despite posting a lower hitting percentage (.089) than the Beacons (.099).
Susquehanna got off to a slower start in the second match, dropping the first set 20-25 to Stevenson with a hitting percentage of .045. SU came out much stronger in the second though, easily capturing the set by a score of 25-12 with 11 kills and no errors. The next two sets were closer, but went in favor of the Crusaders, who closed out the match 25-23 and 25-21.
Paluck had a team-high 22 digs and with sophomore Corinne Eidle (Reading, Pa. / Wyomissing Area) adding 12. Byrne reached double digits in kills with 12 and senior Jessica Holm (Montvale, N.J. / Pascack Hills) had four service aces.
The Crusaders recorded a team hitting percentage of .242 and committed only 12 errors to Stevenson's 20. They also held a wide margin in blocks with 10 to the Mustangs' 2.
The team will continue play at the Haverford Invitational with tomorrow's matches against Widener at 12:00 p.m. and host Haverford at 2:00 p.m.