Mansfield's Rumsey shines, but EC volleyball falls
The Elmira College Women's Volleyball team nearly made a comeback from two sets down but ultimately fell to visiting Nazareth College 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 16-25, 25-23) Saturday afternoon in the Empire 8 Semifinal at Speidel Gymnasium. The win advances the Golden Flyers (21-14) to the Empire 8 Championship match Sunday against the Stevens starting at noon in Speidel Gymnasium. The Soaring Eagles (21-12) will wait to see about earning a bid in the ECAC playoffs.
The two teams played a back-and-forth first set as Nazareth led at one point by four and Elmira battled back to take a 19-16 lead. The Golden Flyers then responded with seven consecutive points to take the lead 23-19 and close out the set 25-22.
Nazareth took an early 12-6 lead in the second set and extended that lead to 16-8. The Soaring Eagles dug deep responding with a 12-4 run to get within 20-15. The Golden Flyers responded down the stretch to close out the second set 25-19.
Elmira came out rejuvenated in the third set taking a 14-9 lead and cruising to a 25-16 victory. The Soaring Eagles led early in the fourth set but Nazareth took a 10-7 lead part way through the set prompting Head Coach Rhonda Faunce to call time out. Nazareth continued to apply the pressure leading 17-13. EC responded once again cutting the deficit to 21-19 forcing Naz Head Coach Cal Wickens to call timeout. The two teams continued to battle tit for tat as the Golden Flyers clung to a 23-21 lead. After an Ashley Heiman '16 block and a Nazareth ball-handling error the game was tied at 23 apiece. On the next point the Soaring Eagles had a ball-handling error followed by a perfectly placed Nazareth kill from Maria Alloco into the back corner to close out the match, 25-23.
Mansfield graduate Taryn Rumsey and Sasha Zavadska led the Soaring Eagle attack as they both finished with double-doubles. Rumsey tallied a match-high 23 kills to go with 13 digs, while Zavadska recorded 21 kills and 10 digs. Francene Cicia and Catherine Miller both finished with double digit digs at 13 and 11, respectively. Molly Short dished out 33 assists.
Sophomores Alloco and Kassandra Busek led the attack for Naz with 13 kills apiece, while they hit .632 and .375, respectively. Chelsea Beecher finished with eight kills and 10 digs, while Brittany Crocetti added 13 digs, and Aubrey Cooke dished out 44 assists.
PENN COLLEGE FALLS
On the second day of group play at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Women's Volleyball Championships, the Pennsylvania College of Technology lost its final two games, dropping the team out of contention for the title.
The Wildcats lost 2-0 to both Carlow University and host SUNY-Canton.
"We made some mental mistakes and didn't correct them," said head coach Bambi Hawkins. "There were some sparks that looked to change the momentum, but the team just couldn't put it together."
Against Carlow, the Wildcats lost 25-18 and 25-11.
Sophomore Melissa Lake (Winburne) led with four kills.
"Melissa did her thing with capitalizing on her opportunities," said Hawkins. "[Kelly Hebert] also got some momentum going."
Sophomore Kelly Hebert, a Wellsboro graduate, had two blocks and added two digs.
LYCOMING FALLS IN CONFERENCE SEMIS
The Lycoming College volleyball team hung tough with top-seeded Stevenson University during the first two sets, but Stevenson was able to post a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-14) win to advance to the championship match of the Commonwealth Conference Playoffs on Friday night at the Owings Mills Gymnasium.
The fourth-seeded Warriors finished the season 22-13 overall, the most wins for the program since 2003.
It was also the team's first winning season since the 2006 squad went 18-16.
Towanda graduate Kylee Sutton, a sophomore, and McKillop each posted two blocks. Avery Gabbard led the Mustangs (34-2 overall) with 16 kills and nine digs and both Christine Isenberg and Megan Miller posted eight kills. Isenberg also notched 13 digs and Samantha Perillo posted 17. Kristen Lubeski notched five blocks and Jessica Gieselman posted 39 assists, two aces and seven digs.