(GETTYSBURG, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team started the season with two impressive wins at the Gettysburg College Battlefield Classic, sweeping Bridgewater State University 3-0 and topping the host Bullets 3-1 in the night cap.
In the season opener, the Tartans hit .372 for the match, winning the sets 25-17, 25-8 and 25-17. Sophomore setter Emily Newton (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Chadwick School) registered 31 of the team's 38 assists while senior Ali Celentano (Mission Viejo, Calif./JSerra Catholic) and sophomore Casey Salandra (Carol Stream, Ill./St. Francis) picked up 10 kills and eight kills, respectively, without making an error. Freshman Heather Holton (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) led the attack with 11 kills and hit .562 in her first collegiate match.
"It was great to get on the court with this team and to get off to such a fast start added to our excitement about the season starting," head coach Kim Kelly said.
The Tartans then faced Gettysburg who pulled out the first set 28-26 before the Tartans tied it with a 26-24 win. The Cardinal and Gray used the second set momentum and jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the third set before winning 25-10 behind a hitting percentage of .308. The fourth set also belonged to the Tartans who registered 12 kills in a 25-21 win.
"Beating Gettysburg on its home court was a big win for us," Kelly said. "We were pushed defensively and challenged offensively and persevered."
Salandra led the attack with 13 kills while Holton picked up another double-digit kill effort with 10, as Newton dished out 34 assists. Four Tartans had double-digits in digs, with sophomore Molly Higgins (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach) leading with 25. Celentano had 13 digs and Newton picked up 11 and sophomore Ivana Vlahovic (Miami, Fla./Miami Country Day) tallied 10. At the net, freshman Eliza Donohue (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) had three block solos as Gibbons again had four block assists alongside Holton.
The Tartans continue action at the Battlefield Classic on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. against Muhlenberg College before closing the tournament with a 12:00 p.m. match against Gallaudet University, a 2013 NCAA tournament team like the Tartans.