Volleyball Splits Long Island Invitational on Saturday to Close Opening Weekend

Volleyball Splits Long Island Invitational on Saturday to Close Opening Weekend

Friday, September 1
NYIT Tip-Off
Jefferson at NYIT | L, 25-13, 25-10, 25-22
Jefferson vs. Le Moyne | L, 25-20, 16-25, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12

Saturday, September 2
Long Island Invitational
Jefferson vs. Merrimack | W, 25-10, 25-16, 25-12
Jefferson at LIU Post | L, 17-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-17

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BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) volleyball team (1-3) split its two matches on Saturday afternoon at the Long Island Invitational in Brookville, N.Y. against Merrimack and LIU Post to close out the opening weekend of competition.

MATCH ONE – Jefferson vs. Merrimack (W, 25-10, 25-16, 25-12)
The Rams only trailed Merrimack for one point early in both the first and third sets.

After falling behind 1-0 after the first play, the Rams evened it up on a kill by senior Corinne Justus, never giving up the lead for the remainder of the first. Justus had four kills in the first set and seven total in the match. Freshman Caitlin Crespo had three service aces in the opening set as the Rams led by as many as 15 at 24-9 before grabbing the set by the same amount, 25-10.

Jefferson led the second-set wire-to-wire as sophomore Mariah Cadzow and junior Courtney Wensel each had three kills while Crespo added two service aces.

In the third, the Rams trailed momentarily when Merrimack had a 3-2 edge, but a service error tied it back up before two attack errors gave Jefferson a 5-3 lead. After a bit of back-and-forth, the Rams scored five-straight points to take a 13-6 advantage and went on another five-point run later in the set to secure the victory.

Wensel led the Rams with eight kills follow by Justus' seven. Justus also hit .636 with 11 total attacks. Crespo totaled six of Jefferson's service aces in the win. In the third set, the Rams had a hitting percentage of .444 with 13 kills.

Freshman Logan Dontell led the squad with three block assists while Justus and Wensel each had two.

MATCH TWO – Jefferson at LIU Post (L, 17-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-17)
Following the Merrimack win, the Rams turned right around to play LIU Post.

Jefferson jumped out to the early lead, winning the first set behind Wensel's eight  kills as she would go on to have a match-high 18 across the four sets.

But after hitting .344 as a team in the first, the squad struggled in the following sets hitting .000, .132 and .194 combined as LIU Post won the final three sets for the victory.

Crespo managed 23 digs: six in the first, three in the second, six in the third and eight in the fourth.

Wensel was second on the team with 12 digs and hit a team-high .245 behind her 18 kills and 53 total attacks. Cadzow followed her up with a .238 hitting percentage.

In the first set, the Rams did not pull away until nine-straight points took the set from 12-13 to 20-13 in favor of Jefferson.

After a quick second set, Jefferson battled in the third, staying with LIU Post until the end. A kill by Wensel tied it up at 20-20 after the Rams trailed by as many as six. But an Pioneer kill made it 21-20 in favor of LIU Post, a lead they did not give up.

In the fourth, the Pioneers pulled away early. The Rams last led at the 4-3 mark before LIU Post scored five-straight to make it 8-4. A service error bought the Rams within three at 9-6 but that was the closest they could get as LIU Post won the fourth and the match.

The Rams now play at Millersville in Millersville, Pa. on Wednesday, Sept. 6 before heading to Wilmington, Del. for the Wildcat Invitational on Sept. 8-9 for three matches.