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Volleyball Comes Up Short at Neumann Invitational

Sara Matsumura
Sara Matsumura

ASTON, Pa. – The Haverford College volleyball team suffered a pair of defeats on Friday evening at the Neumann Knights Invitational. Haverford (2-8) fell in four sets to Cabrini (25-11, 25-15, 18-25- 25-14) and in three sets to Scranton (25-20, 25-22, 25-19). 

In total, Natalie Pisch had 16 kills on the evening while Sara Matsumura added 12. Riley Outen had nine kills and just two errors on 29 total attacks between the two matches. Julia Gallagher-Teske notched seven total blocks while Matsumura and Elena Filograna each contributed four services aces.

Cabrini 3, Haverford 1 (25-11, 25-15, 18-25, 25-14)

Cabrini came out swinging with an aggressive approach that saw the Cavaliers limit the Fords to a negative hitting percentage in the first set. An 11-1 run to open the stanza helped Cabrini cruise to a 25-11 victory in the opener.

In the second set, Haverford fell behind early again at 11-5, but a 6-1 run brought the Fords to within just one at 12-11. A Cabrini scoring run prompted Haverford to call timeout trailing 20-14, and Cabrini scored five of the final six points to pull away with a 25-15 victory.

Haverford roared back to take the third set behind a .267 hitting percentage. The two squads were deadlocked in the early goings of the frame before the Fords went on a 3-0 run with Filograna at the service line, prompting a timeout from Cabrini. After the break, Outen contributed a pair of kills while Gallagher-Teske notched two blocks are part of a 4-0 run that saw Haverford grow its lead to six at 18-12. Cabrini came back to bring things within five at 23-18, but Dina Kosyagin found the floor with a kill before a Cavaliers attack error gave Haverford the set at 25-18.

In the fourth, Cabrini looked much more like the team that took the first two sets as they hit .333 en route to taking a commanding 22-9 lead. The Fords battled to cut that lead to just ten at 23-13, but ultimately the Cavaliers were able to finish the victory in the second straight meeting between the two sides.

Pisch (11 kills) and Matsumura (10 kills) led the way for Haverford offensively while Sara Hunsberger tallied 30 assists. Matsumura picked up her first double-double of the season, also adding a team-best 22 digs. Gallagher-Teske excelled at the service line with three aces. Steph Judkins was a standout for Cabrini with 21 kills on 49 total swings.

Scranton 3, Haverford 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-19). 

In its second match of the day, Haverford faced a strong Scranton squad that took a 13-9 lead in the early goings, prompting a Haverford timeout. The Fords rallied back to cut the Royals lead to just two at 19-17, but Scranton pulled away with a 25-20 victory to open up the 1-0 advantage.

The second set had a similar start with the two teams within two points of each other before Regina Schetroma overseaw a 5-0 run that put Scranton up 14-8. Haverford was back within two at 22-20, but Scranton always seemed to have an answer, forcing a Haverford timeout before Gallagher-Teske and Pisch regrouped for a block that evaded set point at 24-22. Megan Monastra recorded a kill for the 25-22 Scranton victory in set two.

Scranton opened up with a 7-3 run in the third, but Haverford once again had an immediate response, cutting the Scranton advantage to just 10-8. Scranton went up by five at 17-12, but the Fords rallied back to trail by only two at 18-16. A trio of late Haverford missteps allowed the Royals to clinch the match at 25-19.

A strong blocking effort helped buoy the Fords, with Outen tallying six total blocks while Gallagher-Teske and Kosyagin each recorded four. Hunsberger tallied 20 assists while Matsumura notched 18 digs.

The Fords return to Aston for the second day of the Neumann Knights Invitational on Saturday. Haverford will face off with Catholic at noon before wrapping up the tournament against Widener at 2 p.m.