Grantham, Pa. – Messiah College claimed a 3-1 non-conference victory over the St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team Saturday morning despite 14 kills from junior right-side hitter Shelby Mullennix (California, Md./Leonardtown).
The Falcons (15-5) narrowly captured the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-23.
Messiah never trailed in the first game but St. Mary's (5-15) kept it close the entire way, never falling behind by more than three points. The Seahawks had closed an 11-7 gap to 12-10 before Messiah used a 7-3 run to establish its biggest lead of the game.
The tables were turned in the second set as St. Mary's opened up with a 4-0 start and led by four points on three other occasions, including an 11-7 lead following a Mullennix kill. However, the Falcons used a 10-6 run to tie the game for the first time and then knotted the score two more times, including a 22-22 score before closing the game on a 3-1 spurt for the second set triumph.
The Seahawks were ahead the entire time in the third set and picked up a 25-19 victory after breaking a 12-12 tied score with a 13-7 run. Mullennix paced St. Mary's with four kills while junior outside hitters Cecilia Blanc (Gaithersburg, Md./Poolesville) and Jenn Rindone (Crofton, Md./Spalding) each added three.
The fourth and deciding set was another back-and-forth affair with three tied scores but Messiah never relinquished its lead. The Falcons three times owned their biggest lead of six points and never looked back. After Messiah picked up a 17-11 advantage, St. Mary's fought back with a 6-0 run for the second of three ties on a Rindone ace. The Seahawks knotted the game again at 22-22 following a Messiah attacking error. Two attacking errors by St. Mary's and a kill by junior middle hitter Lindsay King (Atglen, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) sealed the match win for Messiah.
Blanc and Rindone both finished with match-best 14 digs while picking up eight and nine kills, respectively. Sophomore setter Rachel Wilson (Damascus, Md./Damascus) dished out 25 assists.
The Seahawks will be back in action on Wednesday, October 19 as St. Mary's travels to Towson, Md. to take on Goucher College (8-16) in non-conference action at 7:00 pm.