KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2016) – The second-seeded U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Mariners will host the #3 Golden Eagles of St. Joseph's College of Long Island in the 2016 Skyline Conference Women's Volleyball Championship on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Liebertz Gymnasium.
How They Got Here
The Mariners clinched the #2 seed and a share of the Skyline Regular Season Championship after they completed their league schedule with a 10-1 record. As a Top-2 seed, USMMA earned a bye through the first round and will host the semifinals. Merchant Marine has compiled an overall record of 18-8 thus far on the year under first-year head coach Tim Gaiser and are currently riding a seven-match win streak.
St. Joseph's finished the regular season with an 8-3 record in Skyline Conference action, which earned the squad the #3 seed in the league tournament. The Golden Eagles swept #4 Mount St. Vincent in First Round action at home on Tuesday night – 25-16, 25-16, 26-24 – to advance to the semifinals. SJC-L.I. improved its overall record to 14-13 with the win and 12th-year head coach Tobey Pantophlet's squad has won 10-straight matches.
Last Time They Met
The Mariners handed St. Joe's its last loss at a tri-match in Kings Point back on Saturday, Oct. 8. The scores of the match were 25-21, 25-15, 21-25, 25-19.
Junior Dominique Pope (Silver Spring, Md.) and freshman Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) both recorded double-doubles in the match, as Pope led all players with a season-high 17 kills to go along with a team-high 16 digs and Kappas had 38 assists and 15 digs. Pope hit at a 40-percent clip in the match (17k-3e-35a).
Junior Kayla Gleason (Sound Beach, N.Y.) notched seven kills and sophomores Kate Lefler (Norman, Okla.) and Nicole Ibinson (Fredericksburg, Va.) and junior Rebecca Snyder (Jacksonville, Fla.) all had six kills in the victory. Defensively, senior Gabby Marionakis (Sound Beach, N.Y.) and Ibinson chipped in with 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
For St. Joseph's, senior Courtney Bocchieri put down 15 kills, while classmate Kiersten Kissinger registered a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior Jessica Monteserrato dished out a team-high 18 assists, and sophomore libero Danielle Senecal picked up 26 digs to lead all players.
Players To Watch
For Merchant Marine, Kyleigh Kappas has recorded a Skyline Conference best 9.34 assists per set and also ranks 10th in the league with 0.61 service aces per set. Dominique Pope's 3.06 kills per set is tops on the team and ranks third in the Skyline, while Kayla Gleason is seventh in the same category with 2.55 KPS. Kate Lefler has been hitting on a 21.7-percent clip throughout the season, which is good for seventh in the league and Gabby Marionakis is also seventh in the conference with a team-high 3.43 digs per set.
For the Golden Eagles, Courtney Bocchieri leads the league with a .289 hitting percentage and Danielle Senecal is second in the Skyline with 4.20 digs per set. Kiersten Kissinger ranks sixth with 2.68 kills per set, while Bocchieri is just two spots behind in eighth with 2.54 KPS. Senior Courtney Wickline is SJC's top setter with 7.14 assists per set, which ranks her fourth in the league. Bocchieri, freshman Dana Moeller and Kissinger are eighth, ninth and 10th in the Skyline in blocks per set.
In Other Action…
The other Skyline semifinal matchup on Thursday features #1-seed Farmingdale State hosting #4-seed Sage, also beginning at 7 p.m. The winners of both semifinal contests will square off for the Skyline Championship on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Live stats and a live video feed of the Skyline Seminfinal matchup on Thursday will be available. The USMMA Sports Network's John Kelly Jr. will call all of the action from O'Hara Hall. To access the live stats of the contest, click here. For the free live video feed, follow this link.
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