Gebhardt Records Career-High 21 Kills as Volleyball Defeats Georgian Court in Five Sets in Opening Day of GCU Invitational

Gebhardt Records Career-High 21 Kills as Volleyball Defeats Georgian Court in Five Sets in Opening Day of GCU Invitational

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (Sept. 8, 2017) – Powered by a career-high 21 kills from freshman Courtney Gebhardt (Bloomingburg, N.Y./Pine Bush) in the first match of the day, the Mercy College volleyball team overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat host Georgian Court University in five sets, 3-2 (12-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 15-11), before falling in straight sets, 3-0 (17-25, 12-25, 16-25) to University of New Haven on Friday afternoon at the 2017 GCU Invitational.

The Mavericks (1-5) pick up their first win of the season and defeat the Lions (0-4) for the first time since 2013, while the Chargers (1-5) earn their first win of the year.

Mercy 3, Georgian Court 2

The opening match of the day saw the hosts jump out a 21-9 lead in the opening set and they did not look back in taking the first set, 25-12, to take a 1-0 advantage.

The Mavericks continued to battle and responded by getting off to a 7-4 lead in the second set after a Georgian Court attack error. The home team then followed with an 11-5 run to take a 15-12 lead in the frame and looked to be on their way to a 2-0 lead. However, Mercy would not accept that and ensued with an 11-2 run to retake the lead at 23-17. The Lions scored two unanswered to get within 23-19, but the Mavericks closed out the set with two of the next three points to even the match up at 1-1.

Mercy looked to carry over their momentum to the third set, but Georgian Court opened the stanza by taking an 11-7 lead. The Mavericks continued to put a fight and tied the set up at 18-18 after a Gabriella Fernandes (Islip, N.Y./Islip) kill. The Lions had an answer and retook the lead at 23-19 late, forcing a Mercy timeout. Out of the timeout, Georgian Court scored two straight points to take a 2-1 lead.

The Mavericks were facing a loss entering the fourth set, but they would play with a sense of urgency and built a 19-13 lead after a kill from Gebhardt. Georgian Court cut the deficit to just one, 20-19, but Mercy concluded the set on a 5-2 run to take the fourth set, 25-21, forcing a deciding fifth set.

The final set saw the teams go back-and-forth with the scored tied at 5-5. The Mavericks took control with five straight points to take a 10-5 lead, aided by two more kills from Gebhardt. The Lions closed the deficit to two on three separate occasions, but Mercy closed out the match with three of the final four points to earn their first win of the season in come-from-behind fashion.

Gebhardt had a career-high 21 kills along with ten digs to record a double-double, while junior Neysha Gonzalez (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico/Monroe College) had a match-high-tying 21 digs. Junior Kaitlyn Partridge (Corona, Calif./Mt. San Antonio College) and senior Sa'Naya Johnson (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) both had nine kills and freshman Adriana Lopez-Soto (Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame HS) had 14 digs. Junior Brooke Runge (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Demarest) contributed 38 assists and 11 digs in the victory.

Georgian Court was led by Peggy Rosario who had 15 kills and 12 digs.

New Haven 3, Mercy 0

The Mavericks looked to build off their win in the opening match of the day, but the Chargers got off to a 19-9 lead in set one, forcing a Mercy timeout. After the timeout, Mercy responded by getting to within five, 20-15, helped by three kills from Gebhardt. However, New Haven ended the set on a 5-2 to run to take the first set, 25-17.

The two teams were tied at 8-8 in the second set before the Chargers went on a 15-3 run to build a 23-11 advantage. New Haven closed out the frame with two of the next three points to build a 2-0 lead.

The final set saw the Chargers take a 13-6 lead, leading to a Mercy timeout, and they would lead the rest of the way in securing the match.

Gebhardt continued her strong play with a double-double by way of ten kills and ten digs, while Gonzalez had 13 digs. Johnson had nine kills and Runge produced 13 assists.

Head Coach Georgia Efthalitsides and the Mavericks resume action tomorrow when they take on Pace and East Stroudsburg at Georgian Court starting at 12 p.m.