(LATROBE, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team entered the AVCA National Rankings on Tuesday and took to the court to defeat Saint Vincent College, 3-0, on Wednesday, September 7. The Tartans move to 5-0 on the year while the Bearcats fell to 3-2.
All three set scores were identical as the Tartans won 25-12 in each set while knocking down 10, 12 and 10 kills, respectively.
In the first set, the Tartans jumped out to a 13-3 lead with the run starting on a kill by sophomore Sarah Jurgens (Eagan, Minn./Eagan). Freshman Maia So-Holloway (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral) entered the match to serve and did so for seven straight points for the Tartans that included a kill by sophomore Lauren Mueller (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown STEM Academy), a kill by senior Jackie Gibbons (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and an ace by the freshman. The Tartans would extend the first-set lead to 21-7 following an ace by senior Emily Newton (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Chadwick School) before going on for the 25-12 win.
Saint Vincent opened the second set with a 5-2 lead before senior Molly Higgins (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach) put down back-to-back service aces to spark the Tartans. The Bearcats would lead 8-4 before the Cardinal and Gray put together a 12-1 run to lead 16-9. The run for the Tartans included five kills, three by Gibbons, and two service aces by Mueller. The Tartans closed the set with six straight points including a service ace and four straight kills.
The third set was back-and-forth early until the Tartans took a 15-8 lead. They stretched that into a 13-point advantage, 23-10, with five kills, two service aces by Higgins and a block by senior Kristen Flint (Ellicott City, Md./Howard). The final two points of the match came from a kill by senior Casey Salandra (Carol Steam, Ill./St. Francis) and a service ace by Flint.
Junior Heather Holton (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) led the attack with eight kills while the team tallied 12 service aces, the most coming from Higgins who finished with four. Higgins also led the defensive effort with 20 digs while Newton picked up 14 assists.
The 25th-ranked Tartans will next travel to Juniata College where they'll face three opponents ranked in the top 10, beginning with eighth-ranked Wittenberg University on Friday, September 9 at 5:00 p.m.