New London, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph volleyball team shutout its opponent for the second straight match as they topped the Mitchell College Mariners 3-0 on the road on Wednesday evening. The Blue Jays won 25-21, 25-10 and 25-23 to improve their record to 3-2 on the season. The Mariners fall to 2-4 overall with the setback.
Freshman Jasmine Buckley (Beacon, NY/Beacon) powered the Blue Jays to victory with a game-high nine kills and also added a pair of service aces. Sophomore setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, WA/Elma) once again ran the offense for USJ and posted a game-high 27 assists. Sophomore Miah Giarnese (Torrington, CT/Torrington) had an efficient night on offense, registering a career-high six kills on 16 total attacks against just three errors.
Defensively, Miller, classmate Carly Ruzbasan (Torrington, CT/Torrington) and freshman Amber Langlois (Stratford, CT/Sacred Heart Academy) posted nine digs apiece, while senior Cassandra Grimaldi (Manchester, CT/Manchester) finished with a pair of block solos.
The first set was closely contested, with Mitchell holding a 17-14 lead in the middle stages. Saint Joseph responded by winning the next five points and would never trailed again. The Blue Jays later won the final four points of the set to take the early 1-0 advantage.
Saint Joseph raced out to an early lead in the second set and would win 11 of the final 13 points to go up 2-0. Then, in the third and final set the Blue Jays led for the majority of the stanza, but had trouble closing out the Mariners. Mitchell fought off four match points, but a service error sealed the win for the visitors.
Mitchell was paced by five kills and eight assists from Janelle Rice (Meriden, CT/O.H. Platt). Colby Zitoli (Walpole, MA/Millis) led all players with 19 digs.
The USJ volleyball team will return to action next as they travel to Gordon College on Saturday, Sept. 17 for a match beginning at 11 a.m. Mitchell next plays at Westfield State University on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.