SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton volleyball team (19-10) saw a late rally fall just short in a 3-1 loss to the Stevens Ducks (21-9) in non-conference action on Friday night at the John Long Center in Scranton.
Stevens 3, Scranton 1 (21-25, 20-25, 25-13, 22-25)
In the first set, the two teams traded points for the majority of it before the Royals took a 12-9 lead with a kill by junior Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield). Stevens would battle back to even things at 17 apiece and eventually took a 23-20 lead before closing out the 25-21 victory.
The Royals started out hot in the second set and consecutive attack errors by the Ducks made it 10-4 in favor of the hosts. However, Stevens responded by taking 10 of the next 12 points to regain the lead at 14-12 and things were deadlocked at 18 before the Ducks took seven of the final nine points in the set to take a two set lead with the 25-20 win.
Scranton once again opened a 10-4 advantage in the third set and eventually led 16-8 following a kill by senior Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac). Stevens was unable to get any closer than eight through the remainder of the set and the Royals rolled to a 25-13 victory to force a fourth set as a Ducks' attack error sealed the victory.
Stevens took nine of the first 12 points in the fourth set to open up a 9-3 lead, but the Royals fought back to cut the lead to one as Margolies slammed home a kill to cut the lead to 13-12. Despite also trailing by just one at 17-16 and 19-18, the Ducks did not relinquish the lead as a Royals' attack error after a lengthy rally sealed the 25-22 win for the visitors.
Vitkus paced the Royals offensively with 15 kills, while Margolies added 10 and sophomore Erin Keaveney (Collegeville, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) registered eight of her own.
Senior setter Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) distributed 39 assists on the night for the Royals and also added 13 digs, while Vitkus contributed 10 digs. Freshman Maddie Forry (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) led the Royals with 17 digs on the night.
Liz Patterson led Stevens with 13 kills.
Scranton will close out the regular season on Saturday with a pair of Landmark Conference matches that will be hosted by Moravian. The Royals will take on Catholic at 1:30 p.m. and No. 2 Juniata at 4 p.m.