MILWAUKEE – The Alverno volleyball team scored a five-set victory on Saturday afternoon, downing the Mount Mary Blue Angels by set scores of 23-25, 25-6, 25-15, 25-27, 15-11.
Senior Cailey Jeske led Alverno with 13 kills and five service aces, while sophomore Arianna Rehberg tallied 11 kills in 36 swings and also had a pair of blocks. Freshman Catie Flannery had nine kills and added 12 digs on the afternoon.
With seven kills apiece sophomore Neilee Newton and freshman Alex McMath contributed to Alverno's 47 on the afternoon. Junior Sam Korn had a match-high 28 assists to go along with her 28 service aces and 23 digs, while McMath added 13 aces and 16 digs.
Defensively it was sophomore Morgan Lemner at the libero position with a career-best 34 digs, one shy of tying the program's single-match record of 35. As a team Alverno had 104 digs on the day and 11 blocks as a squad defensively.
After falling behind 6-2 in the opening set, Alverno came back with a flurry of points on a 9-3 run to take an 11-9 advantage following a kill by Jeske. A return run by Mount Mary gave the Blue Angels a 22-18 lead before Alverno scored the next four points behind three kills from Jeske and one from McMath to tie the score.
The Blue Angels went on to take the opening set by scoring three of the final four points in the period to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set saw Alverno flex its muscle early and often as the Inferno stormed out to a 16-2 advantage and never looked back, coasting to a second-set victory by a 25-6 score with the clinching point coming on a block by Rehberg and McMath.
Alverno took another early lead in the third set at 14-7, which eventually swelled to 21-10. Mount Mary scored the next three before McMath connected on a kill to end the short-lived run. With only three more points needed the Inferno yielded just two down the stretch to take the second set 25-15.
The Inferno had an 11-3 lead in the fourth, but the Blue Angels responded with a 9-1 rally to even the score at 12. Alverno sprinted ahead to a 21-17 lead as the teams moved later into the set, but the feisty Mount Mary squad refused to go down and tied the set at 21.
Both sides see-sawed the lead back and forth before it was ultimately Mount Mary to take the fourth set by a 27-25 score as the match was set to progress into a fifth and final set.
In the race to the switch at eight points the fifth set was tied at seven before Jeske put down a kill to switch sides on the court. Newton connected on a kill to make it 9-7 before Alverno took a 13-8 lead after an attacking error by the Blue Angels. Mount Mary scored the next three points to pull back within two, but a pair of ball-handling errors gave Alverno the lengthy five-set win in a match that took 1:53 to complete.
Alverno (3-24, 0-11 NACC) heads into the final week of the season with the final conference match of the year coming on Wednesday, when the Inferno visit Rockford for a 7 p.m. start in Illinois.