CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Earlham College volleyball team's bid for a third Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) win came up just short on Saturday as Mount St. Joseph University edged the Quakers 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-27, 15-8) at the Harrington Center.
In the first set, the two teams split the first 36 points, but a 4-0 spurt from the Quakers fueled by two MSJ attack errors and a service ace gave Earlham a 22-18 advantage. The Lions would get within a single point at 22-21 and 23-22, but kills from freshman Carly Federinko sealed the set for Earlham.
In set two, a service run from sophomore Angelica Carpio gave Earlham a 6-1 lead, but MSJ battled back to tie the set 14-14 on a Quaker service error. The Lions went on a 5-1 run of their own to take a 19-15 edge and extended that lead to 22-17 on an Earlham ball handling error. The Quakers were not out, however, as they won five points in a row to tie the set 22-22, but three MSJ kills that followed tied the match 1-1.
Fueled from a second-set win, the Lions held Earlham to a .022 attack percentage (10 kills and nine errors) in a 25-18 set three victory.
The entire fourth set was played within a 5-point window despite MSJ leading just once (4-3 early on). The Lions forced an Earlham timeout after tying the set 20-20, but a service error and a Carpio kill gave the Quakers a 2-point advantage. MSJ would not take the lead again, but fought off four set points to tie the set 25-25 before two Earlham kills forced the match to five sets.
The hosts won the first four points in the fifth set, but Earlham won five of the next six to tie the set 5-5. Unfortunately, the Quakers hit a -.095 clip (two kills and four errors) in the fifth set and couldn't stop the Lions from winning 10 of the next 13 points to win the set and the match.
Earlham hit .106 for the match compared to .195 for MSJ. The Lions also held a 9-4 edge in blocks while the Quakers tallied an 11-10 advantage in service aces.
Individually, junior Ashleigh Burton led the way with 14 kills and a .206 attack percentage while freshman Julia Stewart and Federinko were the other Quakers to notch at least 10 kills. Sophomore setter Lauren Jackson dished out 38 assists while junior libero Megan Hedinger had 24 digs.
Cailey Pelmmons and Riley Brunner each had 14 kills for the Mount.
Earlham (14-8, 2-3 HCAC) steps out of conference play for a match against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Monday. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.