Friday, September 7, 2018

Huskies Women's Volleyball Splits Pair Of Matches At Vulcan Invitational Friday

Courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information
CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University women's volleyball team split a pair of matches on Friday afternoon during day one of competition at the Vulcan Invitational hosted by California University of Pennsylvania. The Huskies swept Southern New Hampshire - 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 - to open action at the tournament but then fell in straight sets to Notre Dame College (Ohio) - 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 - to close out the opening day. Bloomsburg moved to 3-4 overall on the season.

Redshirt senior Sarah Gomish (Ebensburg, Pa./Bishop Carroll Catholic) and freshman Mary Kate Mooney(Royersford, Pa./Pope John Paul II) combined for 23 of the Huskies' 34 kills during the sweep of Southern New Hampshire. Gomish led the way with 13 kills while Mooney chipped in with 10 to pace the Huskies offensively. Freshman Emma Van Arsdale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) posted 31 assists while also contributing three aces and six digs. Sophomore Alyssa Cianciulli (Royersford, Pa./Pope John Paul II) led with 18 digs defensively.

After a back-and-forth start in the opening set, the Huskies took control with four consecutive points with Mooney serving to take a 7-3 advantage. After the teams exchanged points, Bloomsburg went back on the attack with four straight points with Van Arsdale serving which extended the lead to 12-5. The Huskies then got a pair of kills from Mooney and one each from Gomish and freshman Sydney Buell (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) as the lead grew to 21-11. The Penmen, however, wouldn't go quietly as they rattled off five straight points to cut the Bloomsburg lead to 21-16. However, Gomish aided in closing out the set by posting three straight kills to preserve the five-point win.

The second set was close throughout as the Huskies built up the largest lead of the set, 13-8, after a run of five straight points with Cianciulli serving. The first four points during the spurt were due to errors by the Penmen with the final point coming on a service ace. The Huskies maintained an 18-14 lead later in the match before Southern New Hampshire scored seven of the set's next eight points to capture a 21-19 advantage which forced a Bloomsburg timeout. The Huskies battled back to tie the score at 23-23 before a service error gave the Penmen set point. Freshman Mia Nicholes (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) put down a kill to tie the score at 24-24 and then an error by Southern New Hampshire and another kill by Nicholes closed out the set with the Huskies taking a 2-0 lead.

The Huskies carried the momentum into the third set, building up an eight-point lead at 17-9 after a kill by Gomish. But, the Penmen made things interesting by scoring the next five points to trim the Bloomsburg lead to 17-14. But, the Huskies were able to close out the match in straight sets thanks to three kills from Mooney and one each from Nicholes and Gomish. Freshman Katie McGonigal (Aston, Pa./Padua Academy) finished off the Penmen with an ace for match point.

Nicholes finished the match with six kills while also adding one solo block and one assisted block. Mooney added nine digs to go along with her 10 kills while Gomish chipped in with seven digs pairing with her team-high 13 kills. Irem Bat led Southern New Hampshire with 11 kills and 19 digs in a losing effort.

Bloomsburg struggled offensively in the second match of the day against Notre Dame College as the Falcons won in straight sets. The Huskies hit for a negative percentage in the opening set which led to Notre Dame College posting an eight-point win. The Falcons jumped out to an 11-4 lead but seven of the Notre Dame points came off of Huskies' errors. Bloomsburg began to chip away at the lead following a timeout and trailed 15-11 after a kill by Gomish. But, the Huskies could get no closer as six of Notre Dame's final ten points again came off of Bloomsburg miscues.

The Huskies fared much better in the second and third sets but both would end with the Falcons scoring the final four points to overtake a Bloomsburg 22-21 advantage. 

In the second set, the Huskies fell behind 7-4 before outscoring the Falcons, 9-3, to take a 13-10 advantage. During the run, Gomish posted two kills while Nicholes, Mooney, and Van Arsdale each added one. Notre Dame battled back to tie the set at 14-14 by scoring four of the next five points. The teams would exchange points the rest of the way with no lead larger than one until the end. The third set was much of the same with the Huskies falling behind 7-4 before jumping out in front by a 13-9 score. Buell, Mooney, and Gomish had kills while Buell and Nicholes assisted on a block during the spurt. Again, Notre Dame battled back to tie the score at 18-18 and then four consecutive points by the Falcons at the end erased a 22-21 Huskies' lead.

Gomish was the only Bloomsburg player with double-digit kills as she finished with 14. She also chipped in with nine digs. Mooney added eight kills and ten digs while Buell had seven kills. Van Arsdale had 31 assists, six digs, and three kills while Cianciulli led the way with 20 digs to go along with five assists. Freshman Meghan Gehr(Parkesburg, Pa./Garden Spot) added 12 digs in the loss. Mary Kate McHugh led the Falcons with 15 kills.

Bloomsburg will close out the Vulcan Invitational on Saturday, September 8, with two more matches. The Huskies will battle the top-ranked team in the country, Nebraska-Kearney, at 1:00 p.m. followed by a match against West Virginia Wesleyan at 4:00 p.m.

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