SCRANTON -- It was another big night on the attack for senior Eryn Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Westridge School for Girls) of The University of Scranton volleyball team, as she finished with a career-high 18 kills to help the Royals get past a tough Muhlenberg squad, 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 37-35, 25-20), on Wednesday evening in the John Long Center.
With the win, the Royals moved to 7-2 overall on the year and remain unbeaten at home on the 2021 season (5-0). Muhlenberg dropped to 5-4 with the defeat.
The first two sets of the match saw both teams split play, with Scranton pulling away late in a five-point first set win and Muhlenberg doing exactly the same in their second set, six-point victory to tie the match.
But, the third set proved to be the turning point of the contest, an absolute marathon that was one of the longest in recent memory for the Royals. In fact, it was the first set to go into the '30s at the Long Center since NCAA volleyball scoring was changed before the 2008 season.
In the set, Scranton appeared poised to take it before it went into extra time, as they held a 24-22 lead late. But, Muhlenberg forced a tie-break with back-to-back points, setting up a back and forth, see-saw battle between the teams to ultimately win the set.
After hitting set point on five different occasions, Scranton finally put away Muhlenberg with back-to-back points, and the set tied at 35-all. There, freshmanErin Keaveney (Collegeville, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) had a kill to make it a 36-35 lead, then the Royals forced a Muhlenberg error to finally end the set and take a 2-1 lead in the fourth.
There, Scranton pulled away late, as a 4-0 run put the Royals up for good at 20-16 over the Mules. The closest Muhlenberg came to the Scranton lead the rest of the way was three points, as the Royals finished off the win on Boken's last kill of the night to take the set by five points.
Overall, Boken was impressive in the victory with her career-night on the attack with 18 kills. It marked the sixth time in nine matches that Boken has gone into double-figures in kills, as she also finished with three service aces, five digs, and three blocks (two of which were solos) in the win.
Elsewhere, Keaveney finished with nine kills, as did sophomore Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield). SeniorMolly Dunfee (King of Prussia, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) led the defense with 13 digs, while junior Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) set up the Royals attack all night, finishing with 45 assists. It marked the sixth match of the year in which Cox went over 40 assists in a match, as the junior also finished with four service aces in the win.
The University of Scranton volleyball team returns to action on Friday, as they open play at the 2021 Castle Point Challenge at Stevens. The Royals will take on Stockton (N.J.) to kick off the weekend, with the match beginning at 4:30 p.m.