TOWSON, Md. - The Susquehanna volleyball team claimed two more Landmark conference victories on Saturday, besting Goucher and Catholic to improve to 4-1 in conference and 17-6 overall.
In the first match, the Crusaders beat host Goucher 3-1 with set scores of 25-8, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21.
SU made quick work of the Gophers in the first set, winning 25-8. The Crusaders jumped out to an 8-1 lead and led by 12, 17-5, after a Morgan Whiteman (Camp Hill, Pa./Trinity) service ace. Goucher managed only three points the remainder of the set and Erin Byrne (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) clinched the win with a kill for the final 25-8 score.
Goucher held a brief, 2-1 lead early in the second set but Susquehanna scored nine of the next 11 points to go up 11-3. The Gophers managed to trim the lead to just five, 13-8, but SU rallied to take a 20-12 lead and went on for a 25-18 victory.
Susquehanna's momentum was briefly stalled in the third set when Goucher went ahead by nine, 12-3, early in the action. The Gophers took a 15-5 advantage before the Crusaders closed the gap to just five points, 19-14.
SU proceeded to put together a string of four straight points to make it just a two-point game, 21-19. At 24-22, the Gophers' Hannah Kuehl won the set on a kill for Goucher, forcing a fourth set.
The fourth set started as a back-and-forth battle but the Crusaders pulled ahead 11-6 after a 5-0 run. Susquehanna maintained an 18-15 edge before building a six-point lead, 22-16. Goucher would not give in, though, and it stood 24-21 before SU clinched the set – and the match – on a kill from Byrne, who finished the match with 11 kills and no errors.
Whiteman and Marykate Sherkness (Treskow, Pa./Marian Catholic) also recorded double-digits kills with 13 and 12, respectively, and only four errors between them. Maggie O'Hearn (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) led with 39 assists while Julie Kreutzer (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) added 12. Sarah Paluck had a team-high 19 digs and Alyssa Chiodo (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) finished with 11 in that category.
The Crusaders swept their second match of their afternoon with a 3-0 win over Catholic by a score of 25-16, 25-20, 25-20.
Susquehanna trailed only once during the entire match at 0-1 in the third set and outhit the Cardinals in percentage by .229 to .165.
In the first set, SU began to pull away at 5-4, taking the next six points to put the set at 11-4 and effectively deny Catholic, who never cut the lead to less than six.
The second set was a closer affair with a score of 11-9 in favor of the Crusaders, but strong and accurate hitting allowed SU to pull ahead to 18-11. Nevertheless, Catholic did not go down without a fight, and was able to win two at game point before a kill from Byrne sealed the set.
Set number three featured seven ties before 13-13 when SU won three consecutive points to pull ahead for good, though Catholic managed to cut the deficit to two at 21-19 behind a service ace from Mary Paige Nesfeder.
Byrne led all players with 15 kills and recorded two block assists along with Hayley Dunkel (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville Area). O'Hearn, who is quickly closing in on 2,000 career assists, added 37 to bring her total to 1,975. Both Paluck and Chiodo finished in double figures for digs again with 15 and 13 respectively.
The team next competes at the Union Invitational from Oct. 10-11 where it will play matches against Union (N.Y.), Lasell, Bridgewater St., and Skidmore.