ASTON, Pa.—The Mount Union volleyball team earned a thrilling 3-2 win over Lebanon Valley (Pa.) in an NCAA Tournament first round match at the Mirenda Center on the campus of Neumann University. With the 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 22-25, 15-13 victory, the Purple Raiders (25-7) advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
Sophomore Taylor Webb (Geneva/Geneva) had a match-high 18 kills as five Purple Raiders recorded double-digit kills. Freshmen Nicole Snyder (Mentor/Lake Catholic) had 12 kills while junior Deanna Glass (Medina/Medina) and freshmen Maya Brown (Tiffin/Tiffin Columbian) and Melanie Patterson (Mentor/Lake Catholic) added 10 kills each for the Purple Raiders. Senior Julie Radigan (Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Falls) led Mount Union with 53 assists.
The Purple Raiders displayed outstanding defense at the net, recording 13 blocks as a team and blocked countless other attacks that Lebanon Valley was able to keep in play. Radigan, Brown, Webb, and Glass all played a hand in the performance. Freshman Lauren Mastroine (Orrville/Orrville) had a career-high 37 digs for the Raiders. Junior Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) had 14 digs while Snyder and freshman Allison Insana (Cleveland/Villa Angela-Saint Joseph) each had 10 digs.
Lebanon Valley was led by Jamie Hawk with 15 kills and setter Kacey Mussleman had 49 assists. Angela Kuperavage (25 digs) and Sasha Birosik (21 digs) played key roles for the Dutchmen defense.
After winning the first two sets, Mount Union hit a slump and dropped the next two sets. Just as they did a week ago at Heidelberg, the Raiders refused to be defeated.
Lebanon Valley took a 1-0 lead in each of the first four sets and did the same in the final frame. A kill by Glass gave Mount Union a 3-2 lead, but the Dutchmen continued to battle and tied the match at 8-8 and again at 11-11.
After an attack error on the previous point, Snyder showed poise in recording a kill to go ahead 12-11. A bad set by Lebanon Valley was followed by another attack error by the Raiders to make it 13-12. Radigan then set Snyder up for her fourth kill of the set and the Raiders were a point away from advancing. Snyder's ensuing serve went out-of-bounds, giving Lebanon Valley life at 14-13. Mastroine received the serve and passed it to Radigan, who set for Webb. A pair of Lebanon Valley defenders jumped to block the attack, and one of them hit the net, giving Webb the kill and the match to Mount Union.
The Purple Raiders will advance to the second round to play the winner of Friday's first round match between Juniata (Pa.) and Cabrini (Pa.). That match will take place Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and live stats will be available at http://www.sidearmstats.com/neumann/wvball/.
Mount Union def. LVC 25-18,25-20,21-25,22-25,15-13
LVC (22-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Jamie Hawk 15-0-2; Nicole Barra
13-0-0; Krystal Wirey 11-0-1; Kellsie Groff 10-0-2; Kayla Confer
8-0-3; Kacey Musselman 2-1-1; Angela Kuperavage 0-1-0; Sasha Birosik
0-1-0; Totals 59-3-5.0. (Assists) - Kacey Musselman 49. (Dig leaders)
- Angela Kuperavage 25; Sasha Birosik 21; Kacey Musselman 13; Kellsie
Groff 12; Nicole Barra 11; Jamie Hawk 8
Mount Union (25-7) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Taylor Webb 19-0-5; Nicole
Snyder 12-2-3; Melanie Patterson 10-0-1; Deanna Glass 10-0-5; Maya
Brown 9-0-7; Julie Radigan 6-0-5; Lauren Mastroine 1-0-0; TEAM 1-0-0;
Allison Insana 0-1-0; Totals 68-3-14.0. (Assists) - Julie Radigan 53.
(Dig leaders) - Lauren Mastroine 37; Kristen Gromes 14; Nicole Snyder
11; Allison Insana 10; Julie Radigan 10
Site: Aston, Pa (The Mirenda Center)
Date: Nov 11, 2011 Attend: Time: 2:05
Referees: Bill Stevens, Owen Reiley