TOWSON, Md. – The University of Scranton volleyball team (11-7, 2-0 Landmark) opened Landmark Conference play on Saturday with sweeps of Elizabethtown (13-4, 1-1 Landmark) and Goucher (3-14, 0-2 Landmark) as part of a Landmark quad match at the Decker Sports and Recreation Center in Towson.
Scranton has now won four straight matches and seven of eight overall.
Scranton 3, Elizabethtown 0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-18)
After Elizabethtown took the first two points of the match, the Royals recorded the next six points and a kill from sophomore Sophia Hadjiyane (Huntington, N.Y./John Glenn) made it 6-2 in the early stages of the first set. From there, the Blue Jays were able to cut the lead to two on a couple of occasions, but were unable to get any closer and Scranton led by as many as nine en route to the 25-16 win.
In the second set, the Blue Jays led 8-6 in the early going before an attacking error ignited a six point run for the Royals capped by three straight kills from junior Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) that made it 12-8. A late Elizabethtown rally cut the Royals' lead to 20-18, but the Royals took five of the final six points of the set and Hadjiyane delivered a kill off an assist from senior Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) to seal the 25-19 victory.
The two teams traded points for a majority of the third set with neither team leading by more than three points and a Blue Jays' attacking error at 17-15 set the stage for five straight Scranton including two service aces from Cox that opened up a 22-15 advantage. Senior Abby Rzucidlo (Garnet Valley, Pa./Ursuline Academy) finished things off for the Royals with a kill in the 25-18 win.
Margolies led Scranton with a season-high 17 kills, her most since also posting 17 in a five set victory at Moravian on Oct. 27, 2021. Senior Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) added 13 kills of her own and Cox distributed 34 assists, to go along with four service aces.
Defensively, freshman Maddie Forry (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) led the Royals with 16 digs, while Vitkus came through with 14 and Cox chipped in with 13.
Bryanna Miller led Elizabethtown with seven kills.
Scranton 3, Goucher 0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-18)
Goucher opened up a 7-4 lead in the first set, but a Rzucidlo kill kicked off a stretch where Scranton took 11 of 13 points and a block assist from Hadjiyane and sophomore Catherine O'Sullivan (Port Washington, N.Y./Paul D. Schreiber) made it 15-9 in favor of the Royals. After consecutive Goucher points cut the lead to 15-11, the Royals took 10 of the final 13 points and junior Ryann Hoffman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) closed out the 25-14 win with a service ace.
In the second set, Scranton led 13-12 when O'Sullivan slammed home a kill and ignited a four point that run that extended the lead to 17-12. The Gophers were unable to get any closer than four points following the run and Rzucidlo added a kill to seal the 25-19 win.
Head coach Jamie Spangler's team raced out to a 9-3 lead in the third set and after the Gophers battled back to bring things within one at 9-8, the Royals responded with three straight points to make it 12-8. Later in the set, three consecutive Goucher attacking errors opened up a 20-13 edge for Scranton who then held off a Gopher rally to clinch the match.
Hadjiyane paced the Royals with eight kills, while the duo of Rzucidlo and sophomore Kaitlyn Canelas (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) added seven apiece. Setting up the attack for Spangler's team in the three set win was sophomore Gianna Detorie (Rumford, R.I./Bishop Feehan) with 16 assists and Hoffman with 13.
Four different players added six or more digs led by nine from senior Emma Profitlich (East Rockaway, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy).
The University of Scranton volleyball team continues Landmark Conference play on Wednesday night at Drew with first serve set for 7 p.m.