WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph volleyball team was denied its third straight victory after it was defeated, 3-0, by the visiting Maine Maritime Academy Mariners inside the O'Connell Center on Friday night. With the setback the Blue Jays slide to 3-7 overall on the season, while the Mariners improve to 9-5 with the win. USJ will look to bounce back when they return to the court tomorrow afternoon at home against Fitchburg State at 12 p.m.
The Blue Jays were dropped in straight sets 25-13, 25-16 and 25-10. Maine Maritime logged an impressive .356 hitting percentage on the night as a team and were led by sophomore middle hitter Alexa Cacacie (Manahawkin, N.J.) who hit .571 for the match and finished with a match-high 12 kills. Classmate Maggie MacMahon (Boise, Idaho) joined Cacacie with double-digit kills posting 11 off the bench for MMA.
USJ was paced offensively by sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Buckley (Wappingers Falls, N.Y) who finished with a team-high four kills and sophomore setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, Wash.) handed out 11 assists. Defensively, junior libero Janell Molina (Honolulu, Hawaii) recorded double-digit digs for the second consecutive match finishing with a match-high 18.
The opening set featured a back-and-forth affair early on. Tied 7-7, Maine Maritime would use a 10-1 run to pull away 17-8 and never look back en route to the 25-13 opening set victory. Freshman outside hitter Jessica D'Auria (Hopewell Junction, N.Y) powered the visitors in the first set with four kills.
In the second set the Blue Jays would take an early 6-4 edge over the Mariners after a kill from senior middle blocker Hannah Lemek (Bristol, Conn.). However, Maine Maritime would answer with five straight points off the serve of sophomore Hannah Butland (Cumberland, Maine) to take the lead 9-6. USJ would fight back to tie things up 10-10, but another big run (10-0) by MMA in the middle of the set swung the momentum as the Mariners would go on to take the set 25-16.
The third and final set was controlled by Maine Maritime from the get-go as it built a 10-2 advantage early on and would never trail on its way to the 3-0 sweep. They took the final set 25-10. MacMahon and sophomore Maryellyn Musselman (West Friendship, Md.) each posted six kills each for the Mariners in the set.
The USJ volleyball team has a quick turn around as they will look to bounce back when they host Fitchburg State tomorrow inside the O'Connell Center at 12 p.m. Maine Maritime next plays at home on Wednesday night in a NAC match against Westfield State at 7 p.m.