South Hadley, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph volleyball team dropped two matches in tri-meet action on Saturday at Mount Holyoke. The Blue Jays fell 3-1 to Western New England in their opener before being handed a 3-0 loss to host Mount Holyoke in their second match of the day. With the losses the Blue Jays fall to 1-2 overall on the season.
In the Blue Jays opening match WNE posted a 3-1 victory winning 25-13, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20. Leading the way for the Golden Bears was junior outside hitter Sam Heffer (Bethpage, N.Y.) who had nine total kills. Senior setter Jenna Leuk (Dumont, N.J.) recorded a match-high 30 assists. For USJ, senior middle hitter Cassandra Grimaldi (Manchester, Conn.) set the pace with nine kills, while Brenna Miller (McCleary, Wash.) garnered 27 assists.
The Blue Jays final match against the host Mount Holyoke Lyons, saw the Lyons grab their first win of 2016, paced by a match-high 12 kills from sophomore middle hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M.). In the opening set, the Lyons jumped out to a 20-15 advantage on a service ace from Maran, but the BlueJays battled back with a 6-0 run paced by three straight service aces from first year outside hitter Jasmine Buckley (Beacon, N.Y.) to make it 21-all.
An attacking error by the Lyons gave the Blue Jays the lead, but three straight errors from St. Joseph and a service ace by senior setter Natalie Lyon (Oakton, Va.) sealed a 25-22 set win.
Following a 25-16 second set win, Mount Holyoke looked to seal its first win of the year in strong fashion, breaking open a close margin with a 5-0 run midway through the set. Lyon keyed the effort with three straight aces. Another four-point run put MHC up by a 21-13 margin and the Lyons held on down the stretch for the win.
In addition to Maran, who also had two aces, four digs and two block assists, the Lyons saw first year middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont.) add six kills, two block solo and three block assists. Lyon boasted a match-high 26 assists with nine digs. For USJ, Buckley finished with six kills and nine digs, while sophomore setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, Wash.) had 14 total assists.
The USJ volleyball team will be back in action next as they return home and host Pine Manor on Thursday, September 8 at 7 p.m.