|Jaspers Drop Competitive Matchup at Fairfield|
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - On Sunday afternoon, the Manhattan College volleyball team visited Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) preseason favorite Fairfield looking to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play. The Jaspers (4-8, 0-2 MAAC) gave the Stags (7-5, 2-0 MAAC) all they could handle, but ultimately fell by a 27-25, 30-28, 23-25, 25-19 count at Alumni Hall.
Fairfield scored the first three points of the match before Manhattan rallied for the next six. The Jaspers took a 6-3 lead on Malia McGuinness's (Kailua, Hawaii) third service ace of the run. After the Stags evened the score at 10-10, McGuinness pounded three successive kills to put the Jaspers back in front. Manhattan built a 17-12 cushion on a kill by Sydney Volovski (Oswego, Ill.), but Fairfield responded with a 12-4 rally to reach set point at 24-21.
A pair of Alexa Lampasona (Remsenburg, N.Y.) blocks, the second paired with Volovski, staved off two set point opportunities, then Manhattan tied it at 24-24 on a Volovski kill. Mariana Furquim (Curitiba, Brazil) followed with a block to give the Jaspers a set point of their own, 25-24. However, Fairfield claimed the next three points to clinch the set, 27-25.
After a first set that saw six ties and four lead changes, the second set featured 14 ties and the lead changed hands four times. Fairfield went up 5-2 early before the Jaspers rallied to force a 6-6 tie. With the score knotted at 8-8, the Stags went on a 9-2 run to open up a 17-10 advantage. However, Lampasona notched a kill on the next point to spark a 7-0 Manhattan run that forced a 17-17 deadlock. Ellie Wiekamp (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) slammed back-to-back kills to put the Jaspers up 23-21, then teamed with Lampasona on a block that brought Manhattan to set point at 24-22.
Fairfield responded with three straight points to earn its first set point before a kill by Volovski evened the score at 25-25. The Jaspers fought off two more set points at 26-25 and 27-26 before having another opportunity of their own at 28-27. However, the Stags once again rallied. Fairfield won the next three points to win the set, 30-28, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, the Stags jumped ahead 3-0 before the Jaspers went on a 5-0 run, capped by a Furquim ace, to take the lead. After Fairfield rallied to go back in front 12-11, a kill by Jamie Collareta (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) sparked a 4-0 Manhattan spurt that gave the Jaspers a 15-12 advantage. The Stags scored the next four points to regain the lead, 16-15, but Manhattan responded with a 7-3 rally to make it 22-19. Fairfield again responded, scoring the next four points to move within two points of clinching the match. However, Manhattan claimed the next two points, forcing the 13th tie and ninth lead change of the set, to gain a 24-23 advantage. McGuinness then served her fourth ace of the match to finish off a 25-23 set win.
Early in the fourth set, Manhattan used a 6-1 rally to turn a 5-5 deadlock into an 11-6 advantage. The Stags scored three straight points to pull within 11-9 before the Jaspers claimed the next two to make it 13-9. However, Fairfield continued chipping away. After a kill by Juliana Behrens (Honolulu, Hawaii) put Manhattan in front 17-14, the Stags went on a 7-0 run to take a 21-17 lead. Fairfield, which hit .318 (19 kills, five errors, 44 attempts) in the final frame, closed out the set, 25-19, to earn a 3-1 match victory.
Furquim and Collareta each had a double-double for Manhattan. Furquim finished with 15 kills and 14 digs, while Collareta posted 24 assists and 10 digs. Volovski recorded 11 kills, and Lampasona tallied eight kills to go along with five blocks. Wiekamp just missed a double-double with seven kills and nine digs. Hollegn Henderson (Long Beach, Calif.) handed out 13 assists. Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.) collected a match-high 28 digs, with Julie Bies (Massapequa, N.Y.) contributing 12 digs. Manhattan hit .171 (51-20-181) as a team.
Brianna Dixion led Fairfield with 19 kills on .326 hitting. Lindsay Weaver added 13 kills on .370 hitting to go along with seven blocks, and Caitlin Stapleton contributed 12 kills and five blocks. Rachel Romansky had a double-double with 54 assists and 17 digs. She also hit .462 in the match, slamming six kills without an error in 13 attempts. Kara Reis tallied a team-high 27 digs, as the Stags outdug the Jaspers 99-94. Carsen Mata recorded 19 digs and Camille Coffey notched 14 digs. As a team, Fairfield hit .220 (68-24-200) in the match.After opening the season with 12 straight matches away from Draddy Gymnasium, the Jaspers are home for their next six contests, starting with a 7 p.m. non-conference matchup against Lafayette (7-3) on Wednesday.