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September 26, 2012

Mariners Drop 3-1 Verdict to St. Joseph’s (LI)

Kings Point, NY – The USMMA volleyball took the first set but the Golden Eagles rallied to defeat the Mariners, 3-1, Wednesday night inside O'Hara Hall.  Cassandra Palma (Loomis, CA) totaled a season high 22 digs for USMMA while Michelle Danhof (San Antonio, TX) posted  a double-double with 13 kills and 18 digs.  St. Jospeh's libero Ashley Larrea had a superb match, racking up 32 digs and anchoring the SJC defense.

Merchant Marine (8-6) pulled away late in the opening set, turning a slim 16-15 advantage into a 25-20 victory.  Charlene Swick (Incline Village, CO) ripped four kills without making an error as the Mariners notched a .195 hitting percentage in the first frame.  Riley Huelbig (Poolesville, MD) had 11 of her 33 assists in the set as the Mariners went on top, 1-0.

St. Joseph's (8-3) battled back from a 17-11 deficit in the second game to eventually knot the score at 19-19.  Kelly Hodges (Lakewood, CO) tallied four of her eight kills of the night in the game but the Mariners eventually fell, 25-22.  The Golden Eagles put away the set with a block from Manuela Palacio and Melissa Garbaldi, one of the team's seven blocks of the contest.

The two sides battled neck and neck in the third set and wound up deadlocked at 12-12.  However, St. Joseph's (LI) engineered a 10-2 run to build a comfortable cushion and put away the set, 25-17.  SJC posted its highest attack percentage of the match in the third set with 13 kills and six errors for a .212 mark.

The fourth set began very similarily to the third with neither team being able to gain a significant advantage.  Danhof had her best set of the night in the fourth, hammering home six kills and recording a .545 hitting percentage.  The Golden Eagles surged to the finish and took the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1, on a kill from Garbaldi on match point.

The USMMA volleyball team will now head to the first Landmark Conference meet of the season this weekend.  The Mariners are scheduled to square-off against host Goucher, #21 Juniata, and Moravian.