Manhattan Tripped Up By Rider In Five Sets
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - The Manhattan College volleyball team rallied from 2-1 down to force a fifth set against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rival Rider on Saturday afternoon. However, the Jaspers (9-10, 4-4 MAAC) were unable to complete the comeback, as the Broncs (8-8, 2-5 MAAC) notched a 25-21, 15-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-10 victory at Alumni Gymnasium. It was Manhattan's first loss to Rider since Sept. 15, 2007, a span of 13 matches.
Rider jumped out to a 6-4 lead in the first set, but Manhattan responded with a 6-0 rally to open up a 10-6 advantage. With the Jaspers leading 17-12, the Broncs rallied for the next four points to pull back within one, 17-16. After a kill by Ellie Wiekamp (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) extended Manhattan's cushion to 20-17, Rider went on a 5-0 spurt to go in front 22-20. Malia McGuinness (Kailua, Hawaii) followed with a kill to make it 22-21 before the Broncs claimed the final three points of the set to post a 25-21 triumph.
The Broncs again built an early lead in the second set, going up 6-3 before a Sydney Volovski (Oswego, Ill.) kill followed by three straight from Mariana Furquim (Curitiba, Brazil) gave the Jaspers a 7-6 advantage. With the score knotted at 8-8, Manhattan went on an 11-4 run to open up a seven-point cushion, 19-12. A Furquim service ace brought the Jaspers to set point at 24-14, and Manhattan won the set by a 25-15 margin to even the match.
The third set featured six ties, including three early on. Maddie Heck (Corte Madera, Calif.) slammed a kill to break a 7-7 deadlock and start a 3-0 Manhattan run that put the Jaspers in front 10-7, but Rider responded by scoring nine of the next 12 points to take a 16-13 lead. Manhattan pulled back within one at 19-18 before the Broncs claimed the next two points to bring their lead back to three, 21-18. Heck followed with another kill to spark a 4-1 Jaspers run that evened the set at 22-22. However, Rider won the next two points, and the Broncs held on for a 25-23 set victory.
In the fourth set, Rider quickly took a 5-2 lead, and the Broncs' advantage reached four points at 15-11 before a kill by Juliana Behrens (Honolulu, Hawaii) started a 7-2 Manhattan run that put the Jaspers in front 19-17. After Rider scored the next two points to even the score at 19-19, Furquim pounded back-to-back kills to reestablish Manhattan's two-point lead, 21-19. A Behrens kill brought Manhattan to set point at 24-21, and the Jaspers closed out the frame by a 25-23 margin.
Over the past three seasons, Manhattan has played some of its best volleyball in fifth sets. One of the keys to the Jaspers' fifth-set success has been their ability to establish an early lead in the decisive frame. However, it was Rider that seized that early control in this one, as the Broncs used a 4-0 rally to turn a 2-2 tie into a 6-2 lead. Rider extended its advantage to 10-5 before Manhattan scored three straight points to trim its deficit to two, 10-8. That's as close as the Jaspers would get, though, as Rider responded with a 4-1 run to reach match point. Manhattan fought off one match point on a kill by McGuinness, but Jaclyn Webber slammed a kill on the next point to give Rider the set, 15-10, and a 3-2 match victory. It was the Jaspers' first five-set loss since Oct. 30, 2011, when they fell to Niagara, and just their second in their last 15 matches that went the distance.
Furquim and McGuinness each had a double-double for the Jaspers. Furquim finished with 16 kills and 20 digs, while McGuinness posted 12 kills and 20 digs. Volovski slammed a team-high 18 kills on .302 hitting, and Behrens added 11 kills. Jamie Collareta (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) and Hollegn Henderson (Long Beach, Calif.) both handed out 26 assists. Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.) led the Jaspers with 26 digs, as both teams finished with 113 digs overall. Julie Bies (Massapequa, N.Y.) contributed 13 digs, including the 1,500th of her career. As a unit, Manhattan hit .151 (63 kills, 28 errors, 232 attempts) in the match.
Stephanie Nagy led Rider with 17 kills, while Webber recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 23 digs. Megan Knott also had a double-double, posting 12 kills and 12 digs, and Nicole Moorman tallied 11 kills on .321 hitting to go along with six blocks. Bridget Sheerin just missed a double-double, posting nine kills, 15 digs and five blocks. Ashlee Amatulli contributed 50 assists and 15 digs, and Brittany Gajewski had a match-high 33 digs. The Broncs outblocked the Jaspers 10-2 and hit .178 (66-24-236) as a team.Up next, the Jaspers will take on Loyola (10-7, 3-3 MAAC) in a home-and-home series. Manhattan visits Baltimore at 2 p.m. on Sunday, then hosts the Greyhounds for a 6 p.m. matchup on Wednesday.