NEW LONDON, Conn. (Sept. 10, 2016) – Despite a comeback from down two sets to one and a mounting comeback in the fifth set, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to arch-rival Coast Guard on Saturday at the Bears' Roland Gym, 3-2.
The scores of the sets were 15-25, 25-15, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-13. The loss drops the Mariners' record to 1-2, while Coast Guard improves to an even 3-3.
Junior Dominique Pope (Silver Spring, Md.) led Merchant Marine with a match high 13 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Kate Lefler (Norman, Okla.) hit .273 with 12 kills. Senior Gabby Marionakis (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) had 22 digs while freshman Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) dished out 37 assists.
Both teams swapped 25-15 scores in the first two sets for a 1-1 tie through the first two sets.
Coast Guard took a 2-1 advantage in the third set as they used a 11-1 run to close out the set for a 25-20 win.
The Bears had a 23-22 late in the fourth set but were unable to seal the deal as the Mariners scored the final three points of the set and tied it up at 2-2 with a 25-23 win.
In the final set Coast Guard used a 8-2 run midway through the final set and held off a late rally by Merchant Marine as a West kill gave the Bear's the 3-2 victory.
The Bear's were led by freshman Angelou Dunton and senior Susan West who each had a team high 12 kills. West tacked on 11 digs while Dunton added seven. Freshman Makenna Martine tallied a team high 36 assists while freshman Ali Gates and junior Michelle McGill each had 10 digs.
Up next, the volleyball team will take on rivals SUNY Maritime next Saturday, Sept. 17, in the Mariners' Skyline Conference opener on the first day of the Seventh Annual Maritime Classic, hosted by Mass Maritime in Buzzards Bay, Mass. Live stats will be available closer to match day on the USMMA Volleyball Schedule Page.
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Release courtesy of Coast Guard Athletics.