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Volleyball Improves to 6-0 With Pair of Friday Night Victories

HAVERFORD, Pa. -  Hosting a home tournament for the second straight weekend, the Haverford College volleyball team (6-0) picked up right where it left off, taking a pair of victories on Friday night inside the Gooding '84 Arena. Haverford swept past Neumann (25-16, 25-19, 25-14) before outlasting Cabrini in a five-set marathon (25-19, 25-27, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13) on the first night of the Ford Invitational. 

Junior setter Sydney Miller posted 84 assists on the evening, including a career-best 51 against Cabrini in the nightcap. Lindsey Keener (24 kills) and Dina Kosyagin (22 kills) led the attack while Sara Matsumura (47 digs) and Isabel Schwam (37 digs) were both defensive standouts. 

Haverford 3, Neumann 0

In the first match of the day, the Fords used a 5-0 run midway through the first set to take a 12-7 lead. A run from the visiting Knights tightened things a bit at 16-14, but the Fords used another run with Madison Adore at the service line to stretch that advantage to a commanding 22-15. Elena Filograna gave the Fords set point with a service ace before a Neumann error sealed the first stanza for Haverford.

In the second, Haverford displayed the signature quick start that characterized the triumphs from last weekend, taking an 18-9 lead before Neumann called for timeout to regroup. Kosyagin was crucial in the final moments of the set, recording a pair of kills to put Haverford on the brink of victory. After the Knights crept back in the match with a 3-0 run, Kendall Otridge denied the comeback, putting the finishing touches on a 25-19 win with a kill. 

The third saw Haverford start on a 9-3 jaunt, as Julia Gallagher-Teske delivered a pair of solo blocks in the span of three points to key the early defensive effort. Adore and Gallagher-Teske teamed up for a block that gave Haverford a 20-11 lead before the Fords were able to cruise to a 25-14 victory, assuring a fifth consecutive sweep to begin the season.

Keener paced Haverford with a game-best 11 kills, while Schwam (18 digs) and Matsumura (10 digs) were again vital on the defensive end. Miller tallied 33 assists. Gallagher-Teske collected six total blocks while Adore added five. 

Haverford 3, Cabrini 2

The second match of the night proved to be the toughest test of 2019 thus far for Haverford, as Cabrini showed its prowess in a five-set thriller. 

The Fords grabbed a 16-8 lead to begin the contest, and eventually extended the lead to 21-15 with a Kosyagin kill. Consecutive kills from first-year hitters Otridge and Keener put the Fords on the brink of set point at 23-17, before Gallagher-Teske eventually grabbed the first set victory with a kill at 25-19. 

Haverford sprinted out to a 13-9 lead in the second set, but the momentum began to swing back towards the Cavaliers in the latter goings of the stretch. A 4-0 Cabrini run tied the score at 20-20, and after Adore and Gallagher-Teske found the floor with consecutive kills, a 3-0 Cabrini spurt gave the visitors a late lead. The two squads swapped salvos until Katrina Shelly tied the match with a pair of kills, ending the set at 27-25.

The third set saw Haverford roll to a 16-6 lead, eventually leading 22-14 before an 9-2 stretch for Cabrini cut the lead to just 24-23 in favor of the Fords. Cabrini had a chance to tie but served into the net, ending the set at 25-23 in favor of Haverford. The fourth went back to Cabrini, as the Cavaliers took a 20-13 lead and were able to withstand some late pressure from Haverford, forcing the fifth set with a 25-21 win.

The Fords looked to be the fresher team in the fifth set, with an immediate 5-0 run to begin things. Haverford stretched the run to 10-3 with a Keener kill, and hoped to put away the deciding frame with ease. The visitors had other plans, storming back to cut the lead to just two at 13-11. Haverford called for timeout, and Otridge immediately delivered a kill to give the Fords set point. Steph Judkins contributed her fourth consecutive kill to trim the Haverford advantage to just one, but a service error sent the Fords to a sixth straight match win at 15-13 in the fifth.

Adore (12 kills, 13 digs) and Keener (13 kills, 10 digs) each recorded double-double efforts while Kosyagin had 14 kills to lead the Fords. Miller was seemingly everywhere for Haverford, recording 51 assists, while Matsumura paced four Fords with double-digit digs, notching 37 while also contributing four service aces. 

Judkins was a standout for Cabrini, as she had a match-best 21 kills on 72 total swings. Gina Custer had 29 digs to pace four Cavaliers in double digits, while Amelia Ballard recorded 24 assists. Hannah Dalton (seven blocks) and Marie Hamilton (five blocks) were also part of a strong defensive effort for the visitors. 

Haverford returns to action tomorrow, wrapping up its eight-match homestand with contests against St. Mary's (10 a.m.) and Hunter (12 p.m.).