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Lafayette Rallies, Outlasts Volleyball In Five-Set Match

BALTIMORE – Down 21-14 in the second set and facing a 2-0 deficit in the match, Lafayette College scored nine of the next 10 points and went on to win the frame before downing Loyola University Maryland, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12, in Patriot League action Friday night.

A bad set by the Leopards put Loyola in front by seven, 21-14, late in the fourth, but Katherine Stevens sided out for Lafayette with a cross-court kill. Loyola then had an attack error – one of its 32 in the match – to get the Leopards within five.

Loyola, however, sided out with a Lauren Youngblood kill on a Lafayette blocking error, getting with three of closing out the set, 22-16, and taking a 2-0 lead in the match.

Stevens again had a sideout kill for the Leopards – she finished with seven total – to swing the serve back to the Lafayette serve. Katie Kidder then took advantage of a faltering Loyola serve-receive, serving six-straight points that put the Leopards in front, 23-22, forcing a Greyhounds timeout. 

After the break, Molly Werts pushed a backset to Alisah Cash who hammered a kill down the line for Loyola, tying the match at 23-23. The Greyhounds then took a 24-23 advantage when Jet Manzi’s backrow attack for Lafayette went into the net.

Lafayette called a timeout, and following the pause in the action, Sonia Musso tallied one of her team-high 11 kills to knot the score at 24-24. Carly Kutschke then had a kill for Lafayette, and Maria Balus ended the stanza with a service ace.

The Leopards opened up a 10-2 lead early in the third set, and although Loyola closed to within one, 11-10, they cruised to a 25-19 win in the frame, taking a 2-1 lead into the fourth.

This time, however, it was Loyola’s turn to push out to a large lead, going up 10-4 on a Balus ball-handling error. Lafayette drew within three, 12-9, on a Musso kill, but Loyola tallied the next eight points to lead 20-9 on a Katie Kidder backrow attack error.

Loyola opened the deciding fifth game with a point when Haley Puddy and Stacey Kazalas locked up a block on Katie Rethmeyer. Puddy finished the match with a career-high nine total blocks, while Kazalas set a new best with seven.

The teams traded sideouts on a Loyola service error and a Puddy kill before Elizabeth Walsh sided out for the Leopards with a kill.

Musso then served an ace to give the Leopards a lead it would not relinquish, 3-2, and Kelly Flynn and Stevens had blocks on the next two points for Lafayette. After a Loyola timeout, Musson had back-to-back aces before Molly Jarvis sided out for Loyola with a kill.

The Greyhounds got back within a point on three occasions, but Lafayette did not allow the Greyhounds to tie the set before closing out the match.

Ann Ernst led all players with 16 kills, and she logged a double-double with a career-best 17 digs to tie for game-high honors. Molly Jarvis had a career-best 11 kills, and Zoe Pawlak added nine. Megan Mondon tallied a double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs, while Erin Cunningham had 11 digs, and Youngblood added 10.

The Greyhounds are back in action Saturday, Sept. 24, when the host Lehigh University at 2 p.m.