|Jaspers Earn Much-Needed Victory at Rider|
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - Needing a win, that's exactly what the Manhattan College volleyball team got on Wednesday night. The Jaspers (15-12, 8-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) notched a 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22 victory over Rider (5-22, 3-12 MAAC) at Alumni Gymnasium to move into a tie for third in the MAAC with four matches left in the regular season.
The Jaspers quickly opened up a 4-1 advantage, but the Broncs responded with seven of the next eight points to go up 8-5. With Rider leading 13-9, a kill by LaKell Havens (St. George, Utah) started a 4-1 run that brought Manhattan within one, 14-13. The Jaspers tied it on a service ace by Mariana Furquim (Curibita, Brazil), then took the lead on a Malia McGuinness (Kailua, Hawaii) kill. Manhattan extended its cushion to 18-15 before Rider scored three straight points to tie it again, 18-18. However, Manhattan regained the lead on a kill by Maddie Heck (Corte Madera, Calif.). That kill sparked a 7-2 rally to end the set, and the Jaspers sealed a 25-20 win on a service ace by Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.).
Rider jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set before Manhattan rallied back within one at 7-6. After the Broncs pushed their advantage back to three at 10-7, the Jaspers went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 14-10. A McGuinness kill gave Manhattan a 20-18 advantage, but Rider responded by claiming the next seven points to take the set, 25-20, and even the match.
The Jaspers went up 3-1 to start the third set, but Rider scored four of the next five points to take a 5-4 lead of its own. With the Broncs leading 8-7, Brittany DeGagne (Penticton, B.C.) slammed a kill to ignite a 10-1 Manhattan run that put the Jaspers in front 17-9. Rider trimmed its deficit to four at 19-15 before a kill by McGuinness sparked a 4-1 rally that pushed the Jaspers' advantage back to seven, 23-16. DeGagne pounded a kill to finish off the 25-19 set win. Manhattan hit .300 in the third set, slamming 19 kills and committing just four errors in 50 attempts.
The fourth set started off with a back-and-forth pace. Manhattan scored the first three points of the set before Rider rallied to take a 5-3 lead. The Jaspers tied it at 6-6 before three straight Rider points gave the Broncs a 9-6 advantage. Rider led 13-10 before a Havens kill and a Julie Bies (Massapequa, N.Y.) ace started an 8-1 spurt that put Manhattan in front 19-14. After the Broncs again battled back to tie the score at 22-22, Furquim slammed a kill to give the lead back to the Jaspers. A block by Havens and Alexa Lampasona (Remsenburg, N.Y.) capped the set, 25-22, and the 3-1 match victory.
McGuinness, Furquim and Hollegn Henderson (Long Beach, Calif.) all had double-doubles for the Jaspers. McGuinness tallied 17 kills and 16 digs, while Henderson notched 49 assists and 12 digs. Furquim didn't commit an error in 31 attempts, slamming 11 kills on .355 hitting to go along with 19 digs and two blocks. DeGagne also had an errorless match. She pounded 10 kills and hit .625. Havens also reached double figures with 16 kills. Huntoon recorded a team-high 21 digs and added three aces, and Bies registered 15 digs and two aces. Manhattan hit .264 (63-16-178) as a team and outdug Rider 88-70.
Jaclyn Webber led Rider with 17 kills on .319 hitting. She added 15 digs to complete a double-double. Ashlee Amatulli also had a double-double for the Broncs with 25 assists and 11 digs. Kayla Wong notched 11 kills and Bridget Sheerin recorded nine kills to go along with 10 kills and six digs. Brittany Gajewski contributed a match-high 22 digs for Rider. As a team, the Broncs hit .224 (58-17-183) in the match.
Manhattan, Marist and Siena are all now 8-6 in MAAC play, with Iona following closely behind at 8-7. Only two of the four teams will qualify for the MAAC Tournament. The Jaspers end the regular season with road matches against the Red Foxes and Saints, but first conclude their home schedule this weekend. Manhattan takes on second-place Fairfield (16-9, 13-2 MAAC) at Draddy Gymnasium on Saturday at 2 p.m.