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The University of Scranton Athletics

Volleyball Splits Pair of Matches at Mary Washington Invitational; Tops Host Eagles in Four Sets

© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The University of Scranton volleyball team (3-3) split a pair of matches to wrap up action at the Mary Washington Invitational on Saturday as they closed out the weekend with a four set victory over the host Eagles (4-3) at Ron Rosner Arena in Fredericksburg.

Scranton had dropped a 3-1 decision to Carnegie Mellon (5-1) earlier on Saturday.

Carnegie Mellon 3, Scranton 1 (28-26, 22-25, 23-25, 19-25)

The first set proved to be a back and forth thriller and things were even at 25 following a kill from senior Abby Rzucidlo (Garnet Valley, Pa./Ursuline Academy) and the Royals tacked on three more late points for the 28-26 victory in set one.

Each of the next two sets proved to be even as well, but Carnegie Mellon took six of the final eight points after the Royals had taken a 20-19 lead with consecutive points capped off by a service ace from junior Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield). The Tartans opened up an early 9-3 advantage in the third set before Scranton rallied to tie things at 10 and the two teams would go on to trade points for a majority of the set before the Tartans took the final two points to break a 23 all tie and take the lead in the match.

Carnegie Mellon went on to win the fourth set with the 25-19 score.

Senior Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) paced the Royals on the attack with 20 kills, while also adding a team-high 24 digs in the match. Elsewhere, Margolies chipped in with 13 kills of her own and a pair of service aces.

Scranton 3, Mary Washington 1 (25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-18)

After Mary Washington opened a 15-14 lead in the first set, a solo block by Vitkus kicked off a seven point run for the Royals who took control of the set and a kill from Vitkus sealed the 25-18 win in the opening set of the match.

In the second set, Scranton raced out to an early 12-6 advantage and the Eagles would not get any closer than four the rest of the way. Consecutive kills from Margolies extended the advantage to 24-14 and set the stage for the 25-18 win that gave the Royals a two set lead.

Mary Washington opened up a 16-7 lead in the third set and despite a valiant late rally from Scranton that drew them within four at 21-17, the hosts would hold on for a 25-21 decision to force a fourth set. In the afore-mentioned fourth set, things were even at nine apiece when freshman Deanna Whelpley (Congers, N.Y./Immaculate Heart Academy) who slammed home a kill to ignite the Royals as they took seven of the next eight points for a 16-10 lead. The Royals were able to keep the Eagles at bay for the remainder of the set and a kill by sophomore Sophia Hadjiyane (Huntington, N.Y./John Glenn) sealed the victory.

Margolies led Scranton with 14 kills in the win and Vitkus added 13 of her own, while senior Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and sophomore Gianna Detorie (Rumford, R.I./Bishop Feehan) chipped in with 12 assists apiece.

Defensively, freshman Maddie Forry (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) posted a season-high 29 digs and Vitkus contributed 20.

The University of Scranton volleyball team heads south to compete in the Trinity (Tex.) Invitational next weekend in San Antonio and will open play against Texas Lutheran on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.