Volleyball earns No. 14 spot after three wins on the road

Senior libero Molly Higgins focuses on bumping the ball across the court. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) Senior libero Molly Higgins focuses on bumping the ball across the court. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics)

––The Carnegie Mellon women’s volleyball team traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Friday to compete in the Franklin and Marshall College Scramble. The Tartans faced off against the Bombers of Ithaca College in the first match, and the Mustangs of Stevenson University in the second match. Carnegie Mellon fell to Ithaca 3–1, then rallied to beat Stevenson 3–2.

The Tartans fell 25–18 to Ithaca in the first set, but reversed the score in the second set and tied the match at 1–1. The third set was close, and the Tartans fell by two points with a score of 27–25. The Tartans could not bring the game back and fell in the fourth set, 25–21, and ended the match losing by a score of 3–1. Junior outside hitter Heather Holton led the Tartans in the first match with 12 kills, while sophomore Lauren Mueller earned 11 of her own. Senior middle blocker Jackie Gibbons recorded eight kills, while junior middle blocker Eliza Donohue contributed nine kills. Senior setter Emily Newton had 42 assists in the first match.

Mueller led the team defensively with 17 digs, while senior libero and defensive specialist Molly Higgins and junior defensive specialist and libero Hannah Wooten each recorded 14 digs of their own. Donohue and sophomore right side hitter Sarah Jurgens each had three block assists, while Donohue and Gibbons each had two solo blocks.

The team fought back against Stevenson in an intense five–set match. They fell 25–21 in the first set, but responded and won the second set 25–18. The Tartans fell behind in the third set, losing 27–25, but rallied to win the final two sets, 25–13, and 15–9.

Newton led the offense for the Tartans against Stevenson by recording 44 assists. Mueller earned 13 kills while Holton put down 12 of her own. Donohue contributed another nine kills along with four block assists and one solo block. Higgins led the defense for the Tartans in the second match with 29 digs. Holton and Newton each recorded 12 digs against Stevenson while Wooten earned 11 of her own.

On Saturday, the team closed the tournament with narrow 3–2 victories over Ohio Northern University as well as the host team Franklin and Marshall College.

Against Ohio Northern, the Tartans won in an intense five–set match for a comeback victory. The Tartans fell 25–16 in the first set and then tied the match in the second with a score of 28–26. The Klondikes took the third set 25–20 while the Tartans responded in the fourth, 25–23. The Tartans closed out the match in the fifth set with a 15–13 victory.

Newton led the team in the third match of the tournament with 51 assists and 11 digs. Holton led the offense with 13 kills while Jurgens recorded 12 of her own. Gibbons earned 11 kills, with four of those coming in fifth set. Mueller also contributed to the victory with 10 kills.

Higgins led the defense against Ohio Northern with 32 digs. Mueller earned 22 digs, and Gibbons led the Tartans at the net with five block assists and five solo blocks. Donohue contributed three block assists and two solo blocks as well.

Against the host team Franklin and Marshall College, the Tartans won another nail biter in five sets. The Diplomats took the first set 25–23 as well as the second, 25–18. The Tartans then won the final three sets, 25–22, 25–21, and 15–12.

Holton earned a season-best 18 kills, while Gibbons and Mueller each recorded career-best numbers with 14 and 13 digs, respectively. Newton put another 51 assists on the board in the second match of the day, while also putting down 17 digs. Mueller tacked on four service aces to her stats, recording another career best for herself.

Higgins led the defense with 22 digs, while Mueller recorded 15 and Wooten earned 14.

The Tartans are now 11–2 on the season. They will next face off against Bethany on Friday, Sept. 23 for the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational. The match is set to start at 4 p.m.