(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - Sophomore Jackie Gibbons (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) stood tall at the net to lead the Carnegie Mellon University women's volleyball team to a 2-0 night, including a 3-1 win over fifth-ranked University of Mount Union and a 3-1 win over University of Mary Washington in the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational.
In the night cap, the Tartans played with power and passion to defeat the nationally ranked Purple Raiders. Gibbons had seven block assists and two block solos to go with six kills. Senior Ali Celentano (Mission Viejo, Calif./JSerra Catholic) was also big at the net against Mount Union, picking up seven block assists as freshman Eliza Donohue (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) had six block assists. Sophomore Molly Higgins (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach) led the team with 23 digs while Celentano had 14 digs.
Offensively, sophomore setter Emily Newton (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Chadwick School) and freshman setter Amanda Thiele (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) picked up 14 assists apiece as the Tartans tallied 31 assists to 40 kills. Newton picked up points of her own with six kills on eight attemps. Celentano led with 13 kills.
The Tartans started the tournament with a 3-1 win over the University of Mary Washington, winning 27-25, 25-12, 23-25, and 25-17. Newton and Thiele picked up 14 and 13 assists apiece as the Tartans hit .233 for the match with 31 assists to 35 kills.
Freshman Heather Holton (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) led with 11 kills while Celentano had nine kills. Defensively, freshman Hannah Wooten (Hughson, Calif./Hughson) collected 15 digs as Higgins had 13 digs. At the net, Donohue led with five block assists and one block solo with Holton picking up four block assists. Celentano and Gibbons each had three block assists while sophomore Casey Salandra (Carol Steam, Ill./St. Francis) had one block solo and one block assist.
"We had a really great night with two quality wins," said head coach Kim Kelly. "Our team played up to our competition and played solid volleyball."
"Against Mount Union we showed a lot of fight," continued Kelly. "We dropped the second set but never for a second believed we couldn't get the momentum back, which we did."
The Tartans return to action on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. when they face John Carroll University on the second day of the DoubleTree Invitational.