|Strutner Joins Exclusive Club In 3-0 Sweep of Marist|
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Diane Strutner (San Jose, Calif.) entered the final match of her collegiate career knowing she had a chance to do something special. And on Saturday afternoon, she did exactly that. Strutner slammed a match-high 17 kills to become just the fourth player in program history with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs, and lead the fourth-seeded Manhattan College volleyball team (20-14) to a 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 victory over No. 7 Marist (15-19) in the fifth-place match at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships at HP Pavilion at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Strutner needed just three kills to reach the milestone, and she took care of business early, slamming her third kill of the match midway through the opening set. She joined Amy O'Dorisio, the all-time leader in both categories, Kim Frederick, and Paige Carson as the only members of the exclusive 1,00-kill, 1,000 dig club. Strutner finished her Manhattan career ranked third all-time with 1,427 career digs and 10th with 1,014 kills.
The Lady Jaspers dominated the opening set. Manhattan scored the first two points of the match and led 8-2 before Marist was forced to take a timeout. A pair of LaKell Havens (St. George, Utah) service aces followed by a kill from Jamie Collareta (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) extended the Lady Jaspers' advantage to 13-3, then Strutner's 1,000th kill made it 14-4. That kill ignited a 6-0 run that gave Manhattan a 19-4 edge, and the Lady Jaspers easily won the set by a 25-11 count. Manhattan hit an outstanding .542 (14 kills, one error, 24 attempts), while Marist hit just .062 (9-7-32) in the first set.
Manhattan kept on rolling early in the second set, opening up an 8-2 lead on another kill by Strutner. Marist won the next three points to get back within 8-5, but a Havens ace capped a 3-0 Manhattan run that pushed the Lady Jaspers' lead back to six, 11-5. After Manhattan increased its advantage to 15-7, the Red Foxes rallied for seven of the next nine points to pull back within three, 17-14. However, kills by Havens and Strutner, then a Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.) ace pushed Manhattan's lead back to six, 20-14. Marist wouldn't give in, though, scoring six of the next eight points to once again trim its deficit to two, 22-20. Kills by Strutner and Alexa Lampasona (Remensburg, N.Y.) brought Manhattan to set point, and a block by Jaci Rahey (West Milford, N.J.) and Maddie Heck (Corte Madera, Calif.) wrapped up the 25-20 Lady Jaspers win.
After the sides traded 3-0 runs to start the third set, Manhattan used a 5-0 run to open up an 8-3 advantage. Marist responded with a 4-1 run to make it 9-7 before the Lady Jaspers rallied for the next four points, opening up a 13-7 advantage on a Havens ace. After the Red Foxes got within 15-12, Manhattan went on a 6-1 rally to extend its lead to eight, 21-13. A Rahey kill brought Manhattan to match point, and the Lady Jaspers finished off the set, 25-16, to clinch the 3-0 win. With the victory, the Lady Jaspers secured fifth place in the tournament.
Strutner hit .302 in the match, while fellow senior Rahey had seven kills on .308 hitting. Havens hit an outstanding .526 in the match, pounding 10 kills on 19 errorless swings. She also recorded four aces and three blocks. Heck added four blocks, as Manhattan outblocked Marist 7-3. Collareta distributed 30 assists. Julie Bies (Massapequa, N.Y.) registered a match-high 20 digs to finish the season with 583, one shy of the single-season Manhattan record. Aurore Kullak (Beloeil, Belgium) notched 10 digs in her final match, as the Lady Jaspers outdug the Red Foxes 46-45. Manhattan hit an impressive .323 (39-8-96) as a team.
For Marist, Katie Estes recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. Lindsey Schmid added eight kills to go along with three aces, while Emily Brosky tallied a team-high 13 digs. Kayla Burton dished out 26 assists for the Red Foxes. Overall, Marist hit .084 (32-23-107) in the match.
The Lady Jaspers, who were 11-13 on Oct. 24, won nine of their final 10 matches to secure the program's first 20-win campaign since the 2003 squad went 21-14. Manhattan also won a school-record 11 MAAC matches this season.