MILWAUKEE – The Alverno volleyball team picked up its first victory on the young season, knocking off the Mount Mary Blue Angels in straight sets by the scores of 25-17, 25-23, and 25-23.
The win marks the first career victory for head coach Dan Dresen, who becomes the eighth coach in program history to earn a win for the Inferno.
Alverno was led by a two-headed attack on offense as junior Ari Rehberg made her season debut and did not miss a beat as she collected a team-best 13 kills on the afternoon in 30 attempts. Freshman Kierra Sherlock was one off of Rehberg's pace as she collected a dozen kills on the match.
Sophomore Alex McMath had four kills, while rookie Kenzi Kaminski tallied three kills on the evening. Senior Melanie Coffey and sophomore Isabelle Gemza, rounded out Alverno's 34 kills on the evening, which was one shy of the team's high of 35 set in the home opener against Crown on August 31.
McMath notched a career-high 29 assists on the night, and also led the team with seven service aces. Coffey had a pair of aces, as did junior Morgan Lemner.
Defensively it was Lemner to spearhead the efforts with 13 digs on the match, while Sherlock was able to record a double-double with 10 digs on the night. Gemza added nine digs, while Coffey tallied eight of her own. Rehberg notched the team's lone solo block of the night, while Sherlock and Kaminski combined for the team's second block of the night.
After a close go of it through the first eight points of the opening set, Alverno went on a run to extend its opening-set lead to 13-6. Sherlock had one kill, while Rehberg added a pair as Lemner registered a pair of aces in the run.
The Blue Angels fought back and pulled back within one at 16-15, but a trio of kills by Sherlock and a pair of aces by McMath pushed the Inferno back in front 22-15. As Alverno looked to put the set away, the Inferno got a kill from Coffey as well as a kill by Kaminski as the final point of the set was won on an attacking error by the Blue Angels.
In the second set it was Mount Mary to jump ahead by a 7-3 score before a service error gave the serve back to Alverno. McMath rolled off three aces in a row to tie the score at seven before Alverno took a one-point lead.
As play progressed through the set the score was even at 18, 19, 22, and 23 before Alverno took a timely timeout. Gemza got credit for a kill on a blocking error by Mount Mary to give the Inferno set point before Sherlock put the set away with a kill off a pass from Lemner.
With momentum on their side the Inferno rolled off six unanswered to open the third set as Coffey picked up a pair of aces during the rally. Alverno's lead swelled to 12-3, before Mount Mary responded and pulled back within five at 15-10. Rehberg got a kill before Coffey picked up another ace Alverno got its eight-point lead back.
The Inferno led by a 22-16 score before McMath and Sherlock put down a kill apiece to give the Inferno set point. McMath couldn't get the ensuing serve over, but it was an attacking error by Mount Mary to give the Inferno the point, set, and match as Alverno picked up its first win of the 2019 campaign.
Alverno (1-7) will be off this weekend and get back to action a week from this evening as the team will shift into conference play on Wednesday evening as the Inferno visit Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Edgewood Eagles for a 7 p.m. first serve from the Edgedome.