BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (Oct. 25, 2011) – On Tuesday night the Mercy College volleyball team stepped onto the University of Bridgeport campus in Connecticut looking to pick up their third conference win of the year on the night of senior right side hitter Crasheena Ward (Danbury, Conn.)'s 100th match. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, a slow start put them down early in an otherwise very competitive match and they were sent home with a four-set loss.
Bridgeport raised its record to 14-4 overall (7-2 in the ECC), while Mercy fell to 8-20 (2-7).
Bridgeport dominated the first set, 25-11, and carried its momentum into the start of the second set before Mercy found its footing. Once on their game, however, the Mavericks competed shot-for-shot with the Purple Knights, matching each point as the second set closed out, 25-17, and taking the third set thanks to a 10-4 run midway through. An early lead in the fourth set looked promising as well, but Bridgeport exploded for a 13-1 run that more or less closed the match out, as the Purple Knights had little trouble holding on to win the match 3-1.
This match featured another premier battle between ECC individual stars, this time pitting two freshman outside hitters, Brenna White (Gardernville, Nev.) and Biljana Savic (Novi Sad, Serbia), against each other. White is the top-ranked freshman in the nation and No. 4 overall in kills-per-set as well and holds an edge in points per set along with one ECC Co-Rookie of the Week honor and two Honor Roll accolades to her name, while Savic ranks 25th overall in kills-per-set but holds the edge in digs-per-set and has been named ECC Rookie of the Week five times.
Once again, White came away the individual victor, smashing a match-high 19 kills and adding 11 digs for the double-double while posting 21.5 points against Savic's 16-13 line with 18.5 points.
Savic was one of three Purple Knights to reach double digits in kills, while senior setter Tamara Leite (Natal, Brazil) led the match with 47 assists and junior outside hitter Taylor McBeth (Langley, B.C.) made 19 digs. Freshman middle blocker Larissa Oliveira (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) made 3.0 total blocks against the Mavericks to lead the match as well.
Sophomore outside hitter Nicolette Gebhardt (Middletown, N.Y.) added 13 kills and 2.0 blocks, while freshmen setters McKenna Ronan (Chandler, Ariz.) and Michala Askew (Ringgold, Ga.) combined for 29 assists, with freshman defensive specialist/setter Zoe Clemons (Irvine, Calif.) adding a career-high six. Freshman libero Ericka Kane (Glendale, Ariz.) led the squad with 12 digs.
Head Coach Alan Clements and the Mavericks will look to bounce back against C.W. Post (11-13, 4-5), which the Mavericks beat for their first ECC win in three years earlier this season, on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.