Volleyball: Mount Union Gets Pair of Wins at Day One of DoubleTree Invitational

Baird, Barrett and Nickoli combined for 11 service aces against Geneva (Pa.) and Wooster. -- Photo by: Todd Jay Photography (Twitter: @theetjc)
Baird, Barrett and Nickoli combined for 11 service aces against Geneva (Pa.) and Wooster. -- Photo by: Todd Jay Photography (Twitter: @theetjc)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Mount Union women's volleyball team, now 15-1, defeated both Geneva (Pa.) and Wooster during the first day of competition at the DoubleTree Invitational at Carnegie Mellon University on Friday afternoon.

Against Geneva (3-10), Mount Union won in straight sets going 25-8, 25-13 and 26-24. On offense, the Purple Raiders were led senior setter Riley Schenk (Lorain/Amherst Steele) who earned herself another triple-double with 11 kills, 13 digs and 26 assists; her second triple-double this week.

Schenk was accompanied by senior Brooke Knollman's (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) 10 kills and freshman Madelin DiBease's 12 digs. At the net for Mount Union, with two blocks each, was senior Mallory Sliman (Amherst/Amherst Steele), junior Mary Beth Keck (Strongsville/St. Joseph Academy) and sophomore Marlee Peck (Homeworth/Marlington).

In the first set, the Raiders got a 5-0 head start over the Golden Tornadoes. Leading by six with a score of 8-2, Mount Union pushed Geneva to take a number of timeouts throughout the set. Geneva sparked a brief rally to close in on Mount Union's lead at 9-5, but the Raiders carried on through the set to win 25-8 with a hitting percentage of .351.

Set number two, Mount Union came out strong again with a demanding 8-1 lead over Geneva. Geneva would once again close in on the lead to get within four at a score of 14-10. The Raiders then pushed the lead back up to eight and finished with a final score of 25-13.

The Tornadoes made the third set interesting as they went on to tie with the Raiders back and fourth during the final set. When Mount Union got ahead by as much as five, Geneva came back quick and led by one point on several occasions. Although, the Raiders would not be held off for long as Mount Union won the final set 26-24.

 

Against Wooster (10-5) for the second time this season, Mount Union went 25-20, 25-19 and 25-12. Mount Union was led once again by Knollman with another 10 kills, Schenk with 28 assists, DiBease with nine digs, and two blocks each for Knollman, Peck and Sliman.

The Fighting Scots kept all three sets tight against the Raiders. In the first set, Mount Union would only lead Wooster by as much as four until winning by five at 25-20. Wooster kept it fighting though as they led Mount Union three times throughout the set.

During the second set, the Raiders quickly led 5-0 to force Wooster into a timeout. Going on a series of small runs, the score tied at 8-8. With senior Elise Nickoli (Norwalk/St. Paul) serving, Mount Union was able to push their lead back up to five. Wooster would inch closer and closer but not quite close enough as Mount Union finished off the second set with a service ace by senior Celia Barrett (University Heights/Hathaway Brown) at 25-19.

Third set, two service aces by Peck aided a 9-0 run for Mount Union to take an early lead of 12-3. The Raiders would then go on to lead the Scots by as much as 11. The Scots would keep up and keep it within four before Mount Union stretched their lead once again. Junior libero Allison Baird (North Royalton/North Royalton) contributed two more service aces to help push the lead to 13 with a score of 23-10. Ending on another service ace by Nickoli, the Raiders won 25-12. The Raiders recorded a total of 17 service aces for the day.

 

Mount Union will continue play tomorrow against Salisbury (Md.) at 1 pm and #13 Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) at 5 pm at the DoubleTree Invitational.