SCRANTON, Pa. – Alongside fellow Division III Maryland school Salisbury, the Notre Dame Maryland Gators also almost got tricked Halloween night, trailing two sets to none, to the Marywood Pacers, before winning the final three sets in a Colonial States Athletic Conference Quarterfinal Playoff match.
Freshman OH Sarah Sweet had a match-high 23 kills and six service aces for the Gators in their 19-25; 19-25; 25-21; 30-28; 15-10 victory.
Marywood never trailed in the first set. The Gators did the the score three times, the last one at 4-4 before a mini 3-0 run by the Pacers gave them a 7-4 lead that they would not relinquish. They won the set, 25-19, on a kill by Pacers Sophomore MB Katherine McGrath.
Notre Dame held their first leads of the match in the second, at 1-0 and 2-1. But a 4-0 Pacers run made it 5-2. Notre Dame tied it at 6-6 before Marywood went on a 10-4 run capped by Sophomore M/OH Gabriella Santos’ kill made it 16-10. The Gators pulled to within 21-19 before Marywood scored the last four points of the second set, winning 25-19 on four consecutive Santos kills.
Gators held a slight 5-4 lead in the third set before the Pacers went on a 5-0 run to take charge at 9-5. Notre Dame battled back to tie the score at 13-13, but Marywood would go on their second 5-0 run of the set, to take an 18-13 lead. Next two points are traded back and forth and with the score 19-14, the Gators go on their best run of the night (7-0), capped off by an attack error on Marywood Sophomore M/OH Peri Sheerin, giving Notre Dame a 21-19 lead. Marywood tied the score at 21-21 before the Gators score the last four points, helped out by an attack error by McGrath, and won the third set, 25-21.
The fourth set proved to be the true difference maker. With the score tied at 13-13, Gators go on a 4-0 run to take a 17-13 lead. At 19-15 Gators, the Pacers goes on a 5-0 run to jump ahead 20-19, before Notre Dame ties it at 20-20. Marywood edged closer to the match, winning the next two points, but the Gators would win the next three points to a 23-22 edge. A Santos kill ties the score at 23-23, then a Gators Sweet kill gives Notre Dame a set point at 24-23.
Marywood held it’s first match point at 25-24 but Santos’ attack error goes out and ties the score at 25-25. The Pacers second match point was at 26-25, but Gators Sophomore M/OH Kayleigh Davis’ kill ties it at 26-26. The Pacers had a third match point at 27-26 but Davis’ kill ties the score at 27-27. At 28-28, Notre Dame gets kills from Davis and Sweet to win the fourth set marathon, 30-28, tying the match at two sets all.
Going back and forth, the fifth set was close. Marywood, using a 3-0 run, got to within a point, but Notre Dame leading 11-10. The Gators would respond with the next four points and on Sheerin’s attack error, Notre Dame won the fifth, 15-10, and took the match, three sets to two.
The Gators now travel to Radnor, PA on Thursday, November 2nd to take on Cabrini University in the CSAC Women’s Volleyball Semi-Finals. Game time is scheduled for 8:00 pm.