ITHACA, N.Y. – The University of Scranton volleyball team (4-6) battled for all four sets, but ultimately dropped a 3-1 decision at the hands of the Ithaca College Bombers (7-3) in a non-conference match on Wednesday night at Ben Light Gymnasium.
Ithaca received 42 votes in the latest AVCA Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday.
In the first set, things were even at 10 apiece before the Royals took six of the next eight points and a service ace from senior Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) opened up a 16-12 advantage. Ithaca was unable to get any closer than three and two kills apiece by sophomore Erin Keaveney (Collegeville, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) and junior Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) helped seal the 25-19 victory in set one.
The Bombers were able to bounce back in the second set as they took an early 10-4 lead and after the Royals cut the lead to four points at 12-8, the hosts responded with five straight points and eventually won the set 25-17. Scranton came out strong in the third set and Vitkus slammed home a kill to make it a 13-6 game for the time being, but a late six point run for the Bombers cut the lead to one at 20-19. From there, things eventually evened at 22 before Ithaca captured a 25-23 win.
The fourth set proved to be an even affair throughout as neither side led by more than four and Ithaca's Alexa Darko tied things at 15 with a kill. Scranton would not go quietly and Margolies delivered a kill to open up a slight 23-21 edge, but Ithaca took five of the six points in the set en route to the 26-24 decision.
Keaveney and Margolies paced the Royals' attack with 12 kills apiece, while Vitkus added 10 of her own and also chipped in with 13 digs. Senior Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) registered 38 assists in the match and ranks second in the Landmark Conference with her 344 assists.
On the defensive side, freshman libero Maddie Forry (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) led the way with 26 digs.
Darko led Ithaca with 14 kills on the evening.
The Royals begin action at the Electric City Invitational on Friday as they host Franklin & Marshall at 3 p.m. and RIT at 7 p.m.