Buzzards Bay, MA – The Merchant Marine volleyball team convincingly defeated Massachusetts Maritime Saturday night, winning the first match of the 3rd Annual Maritime Classic against the host Buccaneers. The Mariners hit a blistering .359 in the match and were led by the ten kills of Cassandra Palma (Loomis, CA). USMMA racked up 26 service aces, including a match high nine from Caitlin McCabe (Edgewood, NM).
Merchant Marine (5-3) stormed off with the first set, claiming 15 conseuctive points on the serve of McCabe to take a commanding 21-7 lead. The Buccaneers finished the opening game with just one kill on the stat line. Back-to-back service aces from Palma sealed the first set for USMMA, 25-10.
Massachusetts Maritime (0-6) fought even with the Mariners to start the second set, drawing level at 7-7. However, another USMMA surge would allow the visitors to take a 16-10 advantage. Paige Queen (Falcon, CO) and Riley Huelbig (Poolesville, MD) directed the offense and totaled 12 and nine assists, respectively. Merchant Marine cruised to a 25-17 triumph in the second set, capped by another Palma ace.
The Mariners finished the 3-0 rout with a 25-9 victory in the final set. Kelly Hodges (Lakewood, CO) powered down her seventh kill of the night on match point to send USMMA home with a win.
Merchant Marine returns to action tomorrow for the final two matches of the 3rd Annual Maritime Classic as they tangle with Maritime (NY) and Maine Maritime.