(HUNTINGDON, Pa.) – The 25th-ranked Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team defeated eighth-ranked Wittenberg University, 3-0, on Friday, September 9 to advance to 6-0 on the season. The two nationally-ranked teams met at the Juniata Asics Invitational in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
In a tightly contested match, the Tartans won, 25-22, 26-24, and 27-25.
In set one, the Tartans rallied from an early 6-3 deficit to take an 8-6 lead while senior Molly Higgins (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach) was serving. A kill by junior Eliza Donohue (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) started the run before Higgins served for four straight points that ended with her first service ace of the set.
The Tartans continued that run to and held a 14-9 lead after a kill by senior Jackie Gibbons (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township). After the Tigers pulled the score within one, 16-15, the Tartans earned a point off a Tiger attack error and another service ace by Higgins to go back up by three. Points switched hands until the Tartans held set-point at 24-22 and finished the first set with a kill by sophomore Sarah Jurgens (Eagan, Minn./Eagan).
The Tigers got out to a 5-0 lead in the second set before a timeout by the Tartans turned things in their favor as they pulled the score back to 5-4. A kill by junior Heather Holton (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) gave the Tartans their first lead of the set, 10-9, before the Cardinal and Gray scored two more points on errors by the Tigers causing them to take a timeout.
Again, the teams would trade points until the Tartans held set-point twice at 24-23 and 25-24, both on kills by Donohue. The winning point came off an attack by sophomore Lauren Mueller (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown STEM Academy), as the Tigers were called for a blocking error.
In the third and final set, the Tartans held a 17-12 lead after a service ace by junior Hannah Wooten (Hughson, Calif./Hughson). The Tigers pulled back even at 17-all before the Tartans held the lead again at 23-21. A kill by Donohue set up the final match-pointer after the score was tied three times with the winning point coming off the serve of Wooten.
For the match, senior Emily Newton (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Chadwick School) registered 31 assists while Donohue and Mueller each had nine kills. Higgins led the defense with 18 digs as Newton picked up nine.
The Tartans return to the court against second-ranked Juniata on Saturday, September 10 at 12:00 p.m. before facing ninth-ranked Christopher Newport University at 4:00 p.m.