EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) volleyball team opened its 2018 season on Friday afternoon at the East Stroudsburg Invitational against New Haven and the host institution, East Stroudsburg. The Rams fell in both contests but continue action at the ESU Invite on Saturday with Queens (N.Y.) and Saint Anselm.
NEW HAVEN DEF. JEFFERSON, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20
Amber Johnson, playing in her first game since 2016, led the Rams with eight kills while Logan Dontell and Courtney Wensel each contributed six in the loss. Wensel owned a game-high 16 digs. Caitlin Crespo had 12 digs to her credit.
Dontell hit a team-high .267 while adding two blocks.
The Rams had an early 4-2 lead in the first set but the Chargers hit .293 as a team to take the set.
The two squads were knotted early at 6-6 in the second set. The Chargers went up 10-6 before four-straight points evened it back up for the Rams. Jefferson hung tight, getting within one point at 21-20 before New Haven closed the second with four-straight points.
Trailing by as many as eight midway through the third, 17-9, the Rams got back within striking distance at 20-18 and 22-20, though they could not force a fourth set.
EAST STROUDSBURG DEF. JEFFERSON, 26-24, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18
Abigail Kress led Jefferson with 10 kills followed by Dontell and Wensel with nine each against the Warriors. Dontell also chipped in four blocks. Crespo had a game-high 19 digs followed by Mariah Cadzow with 11 and Alexandra Harrington with seven.
Wensel owned a .240 hitting percentage for the best on the squad while Dontell turned in a .208 clip.
Trailing by 10 in the first set, 18-8, the Rams used a 12-1 run to take a 20-19 advantage late. The Warriors took a late lead before Jefferson tied it up 24-all. ESU took the last two points.
Jefferson fell behind 7-3 early in the second set but worked their way to a 15-14 edge. The two teams remained close until the end as Jefferson won the last five of seven points to even up the match, 1-1.
But East Stroudsburg came out strong in the third, 25-19, and fourth, 25-18, sets to grab the win.