The USMMA Volleyball Team is now 12-3 overall and 1-2 in the Landmark Conference after dropping a 3 set loss to Catholic University (25-20, 25-20, 25-19) and winning a 4 set match against Goucher College (24-26, 25-19-, 25-14, 25-21) this Saturday at Catholic. The matches have placed the Mariners in a current 4 way tie for 4th place along with Catholic, Goucher, and Moravian.
In the first match up of the Landmark round robin, the Mariners fell to host Catholic University. The Cardinals are currently 16-3 on the season and are also 1-2 in the Landmark. Set one came with a bang as the Mariners took a quick 10-5 lead over the Cardinals. In response, the Cardinals came back to tie it up 10-10 and then lead for the remainder of the set. At an 18-18 tie in the second set, it seemed to be anyone's game. After a block and 5 successful attacking opportunities the Cardinals finished off the second set 25-20 and lead throughout the 3rd set as they took the match. Senior Jennifer Perkins (N. Attleboro, MA) and junior Michelle Danhof (San Antonio, TX) both took home 9 kills each as sophomore Darin Zacharias (Virginia Beach, VA) lead the team in digs (19).
After some time to regroup and refocus, the Mariners defeated the Goucher College Gophers in four sets. This was the Mariners' first win over Goucher College in 7 years and first conference win since 2009; a true landmark match marking the turnaround for the USMMA program.
The Gophers took a quick 4 points early on in the first set for a 7-3 lead. The Mariners answered back and took control at 16-11. The teams came back to a tie at 19 and went back and forth until the finish at 26-24.
In true Mariner fashion, the team came back in the second to dominate. Goucher held a 12-11 edge midway through the second set, but that would be its last advantage in the set. Merchant Marine scored the final four points in the second set, and the Mariners never trailed in an 11-point win in the third set.
Goucher jumped out 15-11 in set four. The Mariners however, claimed the next seven points and a Goucher block error eventually finished off the match. At a .250 clip, the team captured 50 kills, 13 aces and 68 digs. Senior Cassandra Palms (Loomis, CA) and Michelle Danhof both took home a double-double in the match (Palma: 14 Kills, 11 Digs; Danhof 15 Kills, 12 Digs). Sophomore Jordy Macbeth (Orlando, FL) had a top hitting percentage of .438 on the match tallying 8 kills as well.
The Mariners head to Purchase College this Wednesday to take on the Panthers (2-14) at 7:00pm.