The Monmouth College volleyball team won twice on Saturday at the Loras Invite. Monmouth beat St. Mary’s in five sets and then swept St. Scholastica in the second match.
The Scots jumped out to the lead in the first set, going on top 2-0 with a kill from Bailey Hill (East Alton, Illinois) and an ace from Kenzie Russell (Morton, Illinois). St. Mary’s went on a run to lead 6-3, 9-4 and 14-5. The Scots used a mini run with kills from CeCe Palladino (Volo, Illinois) and Layne Wright (Davenport, Iowa) to cut the gap to 16-10. But St. Mary’s went on another 5-point run and won the set 25-17.
Zoe Nizzia (Pekin, Illinois) had a kill early in the second set and Monmouth scored four in a row to lead 4-3. The teams went back-and-forth and were tied at 13 when Nizzia got three kills in a five points run for a 17-13 lead. Alana Robertson (Mapleton, Illinois) had two straight kills and an error put the Scots up 20-16. NIzzia got another kill and Russell’s kill put the Scots up 24-21. Wright finished off the set with a kill for a 25-22 win.
The third set was tight throughout with Monmouth leading 7-4 and then St. Mary’s leading 14-11. A kill by Amanda Dybal (Apex, North Carolina) and a SMU error tied the set at 16. A kill by Wright tied things at 20 and she got another kill plus an ace to tie the set at 22. An error by SMU ultimately gave Monmouth the set, 25-23.
St. Mary’s jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the fourth set before Dybal and Russell had kills. SMU went on a big run for a 14-6 lead and then extended to a 16-7 lead. They went up 10 at 20-10 and traded points for a 25-15 win to force a fifth set.
Robertson got a kill to start the fifth set but St. Mary’s took a 4-2 lead. Wright scored the Scots next two points with kills and Nizzia cut the deficit to 8-6. Down 11-8, the Scots scored four points in a row with kills from Nizzia and Wright plus two SMU errors. Wright got a kill for a 13-12 lead and then added another. Robertson’s ace won the match at 15-12.
Wright led the Scots with 14 kills and she added 17 digs. Nizzia had 10 kills and Dybal had eight. Savannah Robinson (Delavan, Illinois) led the SCots with 20 digs and she added an ace. Robertson had 22 assists and five blocks while Hill had 16 assists and 15 digs.
The Scots turned around and swept St. Scholastica for the second win of the day. Dybal and Robertson picked up a couple kills each in an early 9-2 run to start the first set. St. Scholastica closed the gap to 11-8 and Wright got a kill to stop their run. With a 15-14 lead the Scots won three straight points and eventually pushed the lead to 21-16. Nizzia had a kill for a 24-19 lead but St. Scholastica won four straight points. They served for the tie by Dybal’s kill won the set 25-23.
Monmouth took a 5-1 lead in the second set and extended it to 9-4. Wright and Robertson got kills to push the lead to 15-8 and the teams traded points. Hill’s kill made it 19-13 and the Scots took the next two points on CSS errors. Leading 24-18. Hill put the set away with a kill.
The Scots won the first three points of the third set and kept adding up points for an 11-6 lead. CSS cut the lead to 12-10 before Dybal got a kill. Russell and Wright got kills and Nizzia picked up an ace to push the lead to 18-14. Another 4-0 run put the Scots up 22-15 and when they got the ball back up 23-17, Palladino finished the match with two straight aces.
Monmouth plays the home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Blackburn. Fans are encouraged to wear white for a White Out in the first of two home games next week.
***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***