Tartans Hit Well to Win Season-Opening Matches

Tartans Hit Well to Win Season-Opening Matches

(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.

Defensively, Newton and freshman Hannah Wooten (Hughson, Calif./Hughson) collected 11 digs apiece while sophomore Jackie Gibbons (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) had four block assists.

"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.