MILWAUKEE – The Alverno volleyball team registered its first win of the young 2018 season on Friday downing the Caltech Beavers in the team's opening match of the MSOE Invitational.
During the five-set marathon, Inferno senior Cailey Jeske registered a career-best 22 kills, which was also the fifth highest kill total in a single match in program history. The 22 kills topped her previous career high of 18, which was set a season ago on October 10 against Maranatha.
Later in the day the Inferno fell to the UW-Platteville Pioneers in straight sets as the Inferno split its action on the day heading into the final two matches of the weekend tournament tomorrow.
Alverno vs. Caltech
The evenly matched contest with the Beavers needed to go beyond 25 in the opening two sets, as Alverno picked up the win in the first set by a 27-25 score before taking a 2-0 lead with a 26-24 victory in the second set. Caltech fought back to win the third and fourth sets by identical 25-21 scores before taking the lead at the eight-point switch in the fifth.
Alverno refused to go down without a fight and fought back from trailing midway through the fifth set to pick up the match win with a 15-12 set five victory.
Leading the way for Alverno was Jeske with her 22 kills, while she also added seven digs and added four aces on the match. Sophomore Arianna Rehberg was second on the team with 10 kills and also added the team's only block of the match.
Freshman Catie Flannery had nine kills, falling just shy of a double-double as she had 12 digs on the match. Sophomores Neilee Newton and Morgan Lemner each tied for the team lead with 14 digs, while Newton also led the Inferno with five aces.
The team's three-headed assist machine nearly had double-figures across the board as freshman Alex McMath recorded 14 helpers, while sophomore Atiya Mansfield added a dozen. Junior Sam Korn had nine assists to go along with her eight digs on the afternoon.
The first set was evenly matched throughout as neither side took more than a three-point lead at any point in the set. The Inferno tied the opening set at 24 and held set point at 25 but dropped it as the Beavers evened the score, however a kill by Rehberg and an ace by Flannery gave the Inferno the opening set.
Alverno built up a 14-7 lead in the second set, but Caltech closed the margin and evened the set at 18 before taking a 22-21 lead. The Inferno scored the next three points to take a 24-22 lead but the Beavers answered back to even the score at 24. Jeske got the ensuing point on a kill before a Caltech attacking error gave the second set to the Inferno.
Both the third and fourth sets were evenly matched but it was ultimately the Beavers to come out on top at 25-21 scores as the match was destined for a fifth and deciding set.
In the fifth, Caltech began the stanza with an 8-6 run to make the switch to the opposite side of the net before recording another kill to take a three-point lead. Rehberg notched a match-changing kill followed by a Beaver error and an ace from Lemner to even the set at nine.
After Caltech scored the next two points, Jeske notched another kill followed by a Mansfield ace to tie the set at 11. Alverno closed out the match on a 4-1 run to pick up its first win of the season at three sets to two.
Alverno vs. UW-Platteville
With a break in the early evening session Alverno returned to take on the Platteville Pioneers in the late evening showcase. Alverno dropped the opening set by a 25-7 score before falling in the second set 25-16 and by a 25-19 score in the third.
Rehberg and Flannery led the team with three kills apiece, while Jeske added two more following her 22 earlier in the day. Jeske also led the team with four aces, while Newton added two of her own.
Lemner led the team with eight digs in the nightcap, while Korn had six of the team's 10 assists in the contest.
Alverno (1-5) will look to get back into the win column tomorrow afternoon, when the team returns to MSOE for the final day of the MSOE Invitational. The Inferno begin with UW-River Falls at 12 p.m., before dueling with Maranatha at 2 p.m.