Merchant Marine Sweeps NYU Poly, 3-0

Michelle Danhof
Michelle Danhof

Kings Point, NY – Michelle Danhof (San Antonio, TX) and Cassandra Palma (Loomis, CA) both registered a double-double Wednesday night as the Merchant Marine women's volleyball team knocked off NYU Poly in straight sets inside O'Hara Hall.  Danhof notched 12 kills and 13 digs while Palma recorded 11 kills and 12 digs in the victory.  The Mariners had another superb night at the service line, tallying 12 service aces against the Fighting Blue Jays.

Merchant Marine (4-3) got off to a quick start in the first set, opening an 8-3 advantage on a surge that included two kills each from Danhof, Palma, and Caitlin McCabe (Edgewood, NM).  The Fighting Blue Jays made a comeback and surged to within one at 15-14.  However, the Mariners pulled away late, winning six of the next seven points to take a comfortable 21-15 advantage.  USMMA finished the first stanza with 16 kills en route to a 25-20 triumph.

NYU Poly (1-9) captured the early momentum in the middle set, rattling off four straight points to go ahead, 11-7.  Both sides would battle with inconsistency through the game, which eventually leveled at 23-23.  The Fighting Blue Jays had the first set point at 24-23 following a USMMA hitting error but a service miscue again tied the teams at 24-24.  The Mariners also had an error from the service line at set point but Danhof set up another critical point with a kill to make it 26-25.  NYU Poly committed its seventh hitting error of the set as Merchant Marine took the second game, 27-25.

The two sides were again level midway through the third set until the Mariners engineered a 6-1 run that opened up a 19-15 cushion.  USMMA finished the third set with its highest hitting percentage of the night, swinging at a .270 clip and totaling 14 kills.  McCabe put down four of her nine kills of the match in the last set without making an error.   The Mariners held off the Blue Jays down the stretch and won the set, 25-20, and the match, 3-0.

Riley Huelbig (Poolesville, MD) directed the offense and dished out 35 assists and also contributed six digs.  Charlene Swick (Incline Village, NV) chipped in seven kills and a block assists from her position in the middle.  Paige Queen (Falcon, CO) rounded out the match with two service aces as well as six digs on defense.  Kelly Hodges (Lakewood, CO) posted a pair of kills to go along with her three service aces and eight digs.

The USMMA volleyball team returns to action this weekend as they head to Buzzards Bay, MA for the 3rd Annual Maritime Classic.