Offense Shines In Sweep at Marist
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Manhattan College volleyball team picked a good night to have its best offensive performance of the season. The Jaspers (10-19, 6-9 MAAC) stayed alive in the Metro Atlantic Athletic (MAAC) Tournament race with a 25-14, 25-17, 26-24 victory over Marist (11-15, 10-5 MAAC) at McCann Arena on Thursday night. Milena Janjusevic (Belgrade, Serbia) ripped 17 kills, and Manhattan hit a season-high .394 (50 kills, nine errors, 104 attempts) as a team in the victory.
“We obviously hit really well, but I think the biggest thing was our ability to stay in system and play great defense,” Head Coach Mark Jones said. “It was a really good effort all the way around. Everybody showed up and did their part. It was a true team effort.”
Janjusevic hit .424 in the match, and she also registered seven digs. Sandra Lozanova (Pernik, Bulgaria) had nine kills on .364 hitting, while Olyvia Chaltas (Temecula, CA) finished with nine kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Ivana Kostic (Grocka, Serbia) recorded eight kills on .500 hitting to go along with five digs and two service aces. Allie Yamashiro (Kapolei, HI) tallied a match-high 12 digs, as the Jaspers outdug the Red Foxes 43-37. Zoe Lindsey (McHenry, IL), meanwhile, dished out 36 assists.
Manhattan got off to a great start and never let up, hitting a combined .567 (18-1-30) in the first set. The Jaspers scored the first four points of the match, then, after Marist pulled within 6-5, used a 7-2 run to open up a 13-7 advantage. With Manhattan leading 19-12, Janjusevic smacked three consecutive points to extend the margin to 10. Her ninth kill of the frame (in 12 attempts) came on set point, as the Jaspers took the stanza by a 25-14 count.
It was more of the same in the second set, as a Chaltas kill started a 9-2 run that turned a 2-2 deadlock into an 11-4 Manhattan lead. After Marist pulled within two at 12-10, a pair of Janjusevic kills sparked a six-point rally that increased the Jaspers’ cushion to 18-10. Manhattan hit .324 (15-4-34) in the 25-17 set win, which Lozanova capped off with a kill.
There were 18 ties and eight lead changes in the third set, as neither side held an edge of more than two points throughout the entire frame. Marist used a 3-0 rally to turn an 18-17 deficit into a 20-18 lead, but the Jaspers countered with two straight points to even the score at 20-20. The Red Foxes reached set point at 24-23 before Janjusevic smacked a kill to force another deadlock. After Manhattan took the next point, Janjusevic ripped a cross-court winner to finish off the set, 26-24, and give the Jaspers the sweep.
With the victory, Manhattan has now won at McCann Arena in each of the last four seasons. It also marked the sixth consecutive year in which the Jaspers and Red Foxes have split their two matchups, as well as continuing the road team’s six-match winning streak in the series.
Nikki DeSerpa led Marist with nine kills on .300 hitting. Mackenzie O’Brien added eight kills, while Kelsey Ediger finished with seven kills and eight digs. Lexi Millington recorded a team-best nine digs, and Amanda Schlegel notched six digs to go along with 23 assists. The Red Foxes hit .204 (38-17-103) as a team.
On Sunday, Manhattan concludes its road schedule with a 1 p.m. matchup at Siena (8-16, 7-7 MAAC). The Saints recorded a five-set victory over the Jaspers when the teams met at Draddy Gymnasium on Oct. 1.