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Volleyball Continues Scorching Start with Wins over St. Mary's, Hunter

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College volleyball team remained perfect (8-0) to begin the 2019 season with a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon inside Gooding '84 Arena. The Fords used a balanced attack to outlast challenges from Saint Mary's (25-15, 25-13, 17-25, 25-16) and Hunter (25-15, 23-25, 25-15, 24-26, 17-15).

Following the conclusion of the second day of action, Sara Matsumura, Sydney Miller, and Dina Kosyagin were all named to the Ford Invitational All-Tournament Team. Matsumura was named the most valuable player of the inaugural tournament. 

Haverford 3, St. Mary's 1

Reprising a theme from throughout the young season, Haverford started strong with a 13-5 run to begin the first set. The Fords hit .406 in the stretch, tallying 17 kills. The lead eventually grew to 18-9, as Lindsey Keener delivered a kill. The Seahawks battled back to cut the lead to just six at 19-13, but Haverford closed the set on a 4-0 run, with Kosyagin punching down back-to-back kills to hand Haverford a 25-15 triumph.

The second again saw the Fords start on a tear, taking a 14-4 lead as stellar serving from Madison Adore and Elena Filograna gave way to a serving turn from Kendall Robison, who completed the run with a service ace. Haverford held a 20-9 lead following a Keener kill, and was able to cruise to a 25-13 win with Sara Hunsberger ending the stanza with a kill.

In the third, St. Mary's was able to get into a rhythm of its own and took a 12-7 lead to prompt a Haverford timeout. The Fords stayed within six, but the Seahawks fended off a sweep with a 25-17 victory.

The fourth was more agreeable for the Fords, as they jetted out to a 12-7 lead with an Isabel Schwam service ace. With Madison Adore at the service line, the Haverford advantage grew to 19-10, ahead of a late-set surge from Kosyagin. The sophomore delivered three of Haverford's final four kills, including the final tally in a 25-16 triumph.

Kosyagin finished with a match-best 13 kills while Keener contributed 10. Miller added 28 assists while Matsumura added 16 digs. Julia Gallagher-Teske contributed six total blocks, while Miller added five. 

Haverford 3, Hunter 2

In the second match of the day, the Fords were locked in what ended up a thrilling battle that took extra points in the fifth set to determine a winner. 

The Fords took the first set with relative ease, jetting out to a lead behind Filograna at the service line. Hunter trimmed the advantage to just three at 11-8, but the Fords slowly built the lead back up, taking a nine point lead following a block from Gallagher-Teske and Miller at 20-11. Strong play from Miller and Kosyagin down the stretch allowed the Fords to take a 25-15 victory in the opener.

Hunter began the second on an 11-6 run of its own, and stretched that lead to 16-9 before the Fords clawed back within one at 17-16 following a Keener kill. Haverford eventually tied the score at 23-all as Kosyagin forced down a kill and Adore and Kendall Otridge teamed up for a block. Hunter remained poised, firing off the final two points of the set for a 25-23 win.

The third again saw Haverford in a good rhythm, storming out on an 8-2 run that was punctuated by a block from Gallagher-Teske and Keener. Haverford found itself up by 10 at 19-9, and after Hunter got within six at 21-15, a 4-0 run gave the hosts the lead in the match with Adore finishing the set with a service ace at 25-15. 

The fourth set saw the two sides deadlocked in the early goings, with neither side having a lead of more than three points at any period. A 4-0 run for Haverford gave the Fords a late 22-20 lead, but Hunter responded with a 3-0 run to restore the tie. A ball handling error gave Haverford set point at 24-23, but Hunter again responded, siding out with a kill before grabbing set point with a block. Kylie Hurst then forced a fifth set with a kill at 26-24.

The fifth resembled the fourth in many ways, with the gravitas of the deciding set proving for some inspired volleyball on both sides. The Fords found themselves down 10-7, but rallied behind kills from Keener and Miller to take an 11-10 advantage. The two sides then swapped points, with a Schwam service ace giving Haverford match point at 15-14. Hunter responded with a kill before Adore and Otridge denied Hunter a match point opportunity with a monumental block. With Matsumura serving for the match, it was Gallagher-Teske who collected a free ball and hammered down a kill to send the Fords to celebration after an eighth consecutive victory.

Kosyagin was a standout again, posting 16 kills while Keener added 14. Miller notched 41 assists, while Matsumura added 26 digs. Schwam added 18 digs of her own while Otridge (five blocks) and Adore (four blocks) helped key the blocking effort. Adore also tallied a career-best seven service aces.

Gallagher-Teske took over the Haverford all-time lead in assisted blocks (245) during the Hunter match, and needs just four more blocks to match Meg O'Day for second place on the all-time career leaderboard at Haverford. 

Haverford is currently on its longest winning streak since the 2013-14 season, and has opened the season with eight consecutive wins for the first time since 2009. The Fords will return to action on Friday at Muhlenberg's Buttermaker Tournament, facing off with Eastern (5 p.m.) and Penn State Abington (7 p.m.)