Volleyball Opens Elmhurst Invitational With Losses

Volleyball Opens Elmhurst Invitational With Losses

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Susquehanna volleyball team (12-4) opened the Elmhurst Invitational on Friday with two losses: a four-set defeat against the University of Chicago and a five-set loss against Heidelberg University late in the evening.

The Crusaders lost to the University of Chicago (12-4) in their first match of the weekend by a score of 25-17, 22-25, 17-25, 18-25.

The first set was a tightly contested affair as Chicago held a narrow lead at 15-13, but a block by Hayley Dunkel (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville Area) and Kady Faller (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) helped jumpstart SU, which won the next seven points and put the set away at 25-17. Dunkel led all players with four block assists for the match.

The Crusaders led 16-12 in the second and looked poised to capture the set, but a six-point run erased the deficit and put Chicago ahead at 19-16, a lead they would not relinquish. The Maroons were largely in control for both the third and fourth sets and never trailed Susquehanna in either.

Morgan Whiteman (Camp Hill, Pa./Trinity) and Erin Byrne (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) both recorded 10 attacks in the match, with Byrne adding four service aces and six digs as well. Sarah Paluck (Nesquehoning, Pa./Tamaqua Area) finished with a match-high 23 digs and Maggie O'Hearn (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) had a complete stat line with 36 assists, six kills, seven digs, and two service aces.

Susquehanna nearly went the distance in five sets against Heidelberg, but fell short in the fifth, narrowly losing the match by a score of 16-25, 25-18, 27-25, 20-25, 14-16.

The Crusaders came out slow in the first set as they posted 11 errors and a negative hitting percentage, but recovered well in the second and third sets to take a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, the Student Princes had a run of their own, achieving hitting percentages of .321 and .471 in the final sets.

Whiteman and Byrne again led the SU attack as the junior and sophomore registered 22 and 19 kills, respectively as Jessica Holm (Montvale, N.J/Pascack Hills) was also in double figures with 14. O'Hearn collected 58 assists and 19 digs, while Paluck added 23 in that same category.

Susquehanna will continue play at the Invitational with Saturday matches against Millikin at 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time and a 12:00 PM match with Wheaton (Ill).