Inferno Closes Weekend in Virginia with Matchups vs. Widener and St. Mary's (Md.)

Sophomore Morgan Lemner had 26 combined digs on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Morgan Lemner had 26 combined digs on Saturday afternoon.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Alverno volleyball team concluded its four-game trip at the Virginia Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday afternoon competing against Widener at St. Mary's (Md.).

The Inferno fell in straight sets to both the Pride and the Seahawks. In the opener against Widener, Alverno lost 25-17, 25-15 and 25-21; before scoring 20 in the opening set against St. Mary's and then dropping the next two 25-11 and 25-20.


Alverno vs. Widener

In the opener against the Pride, Alverno was led by freshman Catie Flannery, who finished the match with a team-best seven kills. Senior Cailey Jeske had five kills in 11 swings, while sophomore Neilee Newton added four kills during the match.

Junior Sam Korn had 12 assists in the opener, while sophomore Atiya Mansfield added 10 helpers of her own against the Pride. Freshman Alex McMath led the team with three of its seven aces.

Defensively it was Flannery leading with 17 digs, while sophomore Morgan Lemner added double figures with 10 digs. Jeske and sophomore Arianna Rehberg led the way up front with two blocks apiece.

A full play-by-play of the match was not provided by the host institution.


Alverno vs. St. Mary's (Md.)

In the matchup with St. Mary's, Jeske led Alverno with 12 of the team's 27 kills, with Flannery adding eight more. Newton had three kills and McMath added a pair, while Flanery led the way in hitting percentage at .200 for the match.

McMath had 10 assists for the Inferno while Lemner led the team with 16 digs. Two members of the team had a pair of block assists with Flannery and Rehberg leading the defensive charge.

In the opening set the Inferno got off to a solid start with 13 kills in the first set. Jeske and Flannery got Alverno off to a strong start as the team opened up a 4-0 advantage. After St. Mary's pulled back within one at 4-3 it was once again Flannery to put down the kill to bump Alverno ahead by a pair.

With the set tied at six Flannery connected on her third kill of the stanza followed by two more from Newton. The Seahawks evened the set at 10 before the set was tied at 12, 13, 15, 17 and at 18 on a kill by Jeske in a back-and-forth battle.

St. Mary's surged ahead with three unanswered to move ahead 21-18 and did not turn back, as the Seahawks escaped with the opening set by a 25-20 score.

The second set did not go in favor of the Inferno, as the team fell behind by a 6-4 score in the early going. Flannery and sophomore Lexi Haines had two of the first four points for Alverno, but the Seahawks went on a 7-3 run and ran away with the set by a 25-11 score.

Alverno got back to offense in the third set as Jeske got the first Inferno point on an assist by Mansfield. Newton connected on a service ace for the next point to put Alverno ahead 2-1. The next several points were split as Alverno held its one-point lead at 6-5.

An attacking error by St. Mary's gave Alverno a two-point lead at 8-6 before St. Mary's rattled off three unanswered to take a 9-8 lead. Newton responded on a kill from Korn to even the period at nine.

Similar to the opening set, the sides remained close through the middle stages of the set before Alverno took a two-point edge at 17-15. A timeout by the Seahawks proved to be key as St. Mary's scored six of the next seven points in the set to take a 21-18 lead before closing out the set at 25-20.

Alverno (0-4) will return to Wisconsin and will next do battle with Caltech in the opening matchup of the MSOE Invitational this weekend at 3 p.m. on the nearby Milwaukee campus. The Inferno will also take on UW-Platteville on Friday before squaring off with UW-River Falls and Maranatha on Saturday.