MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State Volleyball program suffered their first set back of 2018, falling 3-0 to MIT, but rebounded to take a 3-1 win over Penn State-Behrend to close out their home tournament.
The Mustangs played the Engineers tight in the first match, not allowing MIT to gain more than a four point advantage throughout all three sets. Unfortunately the result did not go Morrisville's way as they fell in straight sets 25-22, 25-22, and 25-21.
The Mustangs' second match of the day was also a close one for the home squad with Penn State-Behrend pushing them every step of the way. The two teams fought back and forth through the entire first set even blowing by the normal 25 point target. With the score knotted at 30-30, Elycia Crittenden (Louisville, Ky.) slammed home a kill for the one point advantage. Baratier's ensuing serve forced the Lions out of their typical offensive rhythm allowing the Mustangs to set up an attack. Merrill took the set from Kim Dunkleman (Williamsville, N.Y.) and put the kill away for the 32-30 first set win.
The second set was similar to the first as each team traded points throughout the early part of the set. However, a string of attack errors by the Mustangs late in the set gave Behrend the 25-21 win.
The second set drop slowed the Morrisville pace early in the third set, but the Mustangs chipped their way back into the set. Two key serving streaks by Merrill and Dunkleman took the score from an 8-11 deficit to an 18-13 advantage. From there, Morrisville would not look back, closing out the third set 25-16.
Up 2-1 heading into the fourth set, the Mustangs found themselves working out of a hole again as Behrend jumped out to an early 8-1 lead. This time, Morrisville rode the hot serving hands of Baratier and Helena Hanes (Brockport, Pa.) to get the match to 11-10 in favor of the hosts. The Mustangs built their lead to 24-22, but the Lions offense did not shut down, evening the score at 24-24. However, a kill from Merrill set up by Hanes followed by a Merrill ace ended the threat to give Morrisville the 26-24 set win and 3-1 match victory.
Merrill once again paced the offense with 18 kills, but Baratier, Crittenden, and Kirsten Florio (Wellsboro, Pa.) were not close behind as all three recorded double digit kill totals.
Crittenden was also a force at the net for the Mustangs, assisting on 3 blocks.
Defensively, Morrisville picked up 92 digs, 48 of which belonged to libero Sam Wolf (Liverpool, N.Y.). Baratier, Dunkleman, and Merrill picked up double digit digs as well.
The Mustangs will hit the road next weekend for three non-conference match ups as they travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts for MIT's home tournament. Morrisville will face Springfield on Friday night September 7 before taking on Suffolk and Babson on Saturday.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.