WALTHAM, Mass. (Sept. 2, 2017) – Despite a team-high 22 kills on the day from freshman Courtney Gebhardt (Bloomingburg, N.Y./Pine Bush) and a team-high 29 digs from junior Neysha Gonzalez (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico/Monroe College), the Mercy College volleyball team dropped straight-set decisions to Wilmington University and Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday afternoon at the Hoffman Memorial Invitational at Bentley University.
The Mavericks (0-4) remain winless on the year, while the Wildcats (1-3) pick up their first win of the season and the Penmen (2-2) split their two matches on the day.
Gebhardt also added ten digs and finished with a solid .217 hitting percentage. Senior Sa'Naya Johnson (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) had 13 kills and eight digs. Freshman Adriana Lopez-Soto (Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame HS) contributed 22 digs and sophomore Gabriella Fernandes (Islip, N.Y./Islip) ended the day with 14 digs. Junior Kaitlyn Partridge (Corona, Calif./Mt. San Antonio College) capped off the day with nine kills and five blocks and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the afternoon.
Wilmington was led by Emma Kongevold who had nine kills.
Southern New Hampshire was guided by Marisa Coronis who had a match-high 18 kills.
Wilmington 3, Mercy 0
The Mavericks began their first match of the day by taking a 7-5 lead in set one after a block from Partridge and Gebhardt. The Wildcats responded with a 7-2 run to take a 12-9 lead and looked to be pulling away from Mercy. However, the Mavericks clawed their way back and tied the set up at 12-12 after a kill from junior Brooke Runge (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Demarest). Wilmington retook the lead and built it up to 22-16 before Mercy came back with two straight points to force a Wildcats timeout. Gebhardt got the Mavericks within three, 22-19, but Wilmington closed out the set on a 3-1 spurt to take a 1-0 lead.
Mercy once again got off to a strong start in set two, taking a 12-7 lead after a Partridge kill, forcing a Wildcats timeout. Out of the timeout, the Mavericks built the lead to 13-7, but Wilmington rallied with an 11-5 run to tie the set up at 18-18. The two teams were tied at 23-23 late in the stanza before the Wildcats rattled off two straight points to take a 2-0 lead.
Wilmington carried over their momentum from the second set and built a 14-7 advantage. The Mavericks showed some grit and toughness by ensuing with a 10-3 run to tie the set up at 17-17, leading to another Wildcats timeout. Wilmington regained their focus after the timeout and ended the set with eight of the next 11 points to secure the win.
Gebhardt had 12 kills and six digs, while Lopez-Soto had 15 digs.
Southern New Hampshire 3, Mercy 0
The final match of the day saw the Penmen get off to a 16-8 start. The Mavericks continued to play hard despite the deficit and went on a 14-8 run to make it 24-22 late in the set. After a Southern New Hampshire timeout, Johnson slammed home a kill to get Mercy within one, 24-23. However, a Priscila Castro kill for the Penmen would give the first set to Southern New Hampshire.
The second stanza saw Mercy score first, but that would be their lone lead of the set as the Penmen controlled the set, earning a 25-13 win to take a 2-0 lead.
Southern New Hampshire continued to play well in the third set, leading from start-to-finish to secure the match after winning the third set, 25-14.
Gebhardt had ten kills and four digs, while Gonzalez added 17 digs.
Head Coach Georgia Efthalitsides and the Mavericks resume action on Friday, September 8th when they play at Georgian Court in the GCU Lions Invitational.