PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Mount Union women's volleyball team (16-2) split against Salisbury (Md.) and #13 Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon to conclude the 2017 DoubleTree Invitational in Pittsburgh.
Against Salisbury (11-5), Mount Union won in four sets going 22-25, 25-16, 25-21 and 25-19. The Purple Raiders (16-1) were led on offense by freshman Madelin DiBease (Perry/Perry) who tabbed 12 kills, most of those coming off of senior Riley Schenk's (Lorain/Amherst Steele) 41 assists. Junior libero Allison Baird (North Royalton/North Royalton) defended the Raiders territory with 17 digs. Sophomore Marlee Peck (Homeworth/Marlington) and junior Mary Beth Keck (Strongsville/St. Joseph Academy) made their presence known at the net as they recorded five blocks each; a season high for Keck.
In the first set against the Seagulls, the Raiders were a little sluggish as attack errors became an issue. Soon, Mount Union went on a 5-0 run mid-way through to catch up to Salisbury. They would tie at 17 and rally bach and forth until the Seagulls pulled ahead to take the first set at 22-25.
The following three sets were pivotal in Mount Union's overall victory against Salisbury. The Raiders increased their hitting percentage from .053 in the first set to .286 in their 25-16 win in the second set and remained victorious through the duration of the match.
Against host #13 Carnegie Mellon (16-0), the Raiders were led on offense by DiBease's eight kills and Schenk's 25 assists. On defense, Baird recorded 19 digs and senior Mallory Sliman (Amherst/Amherst Steele) provided three blocks.
During the first set, the Raiders kept things close and maintained a 3-point lead over the Tartans. However, a 7-0 Carnegie Mellon run soon followed. Mount Union got it back within one to only be down 12-13. The Tartans carried their lead to seven until the Raiders brought it back within two with a series of quick triggered attacks by DiBease, Keck and Peck. With Schenk serving, Mount Union tied it up at 23 but Carnegie Mellon mangaged to hold the Raiders off and take the first set with a score of 23-25.
Three kills from DiBease helped earn the Raiders an early lead over the Tartans in the second set. After rallying one another, Carnegie Mellon was able to string together several significant leads to defeat the Raiders 16-25 in the set.
Third set and final set, Mount Union continued to put up a fight and take an early lead over Carnegie Mellon. As the Tartans would take over the set with an extended run,
Mount Union's next match will be in Ada, Ohio as they begin Ohio Athletic Conference play on Saturday, September 30 at 1:00 p.m. against the Ohio Northern Polar Bears.