Marymount opens 2016 campaign in convincing fashion

ARLINGTON, Va The 2016 season for the Marymount (Va.) University women's volleyball team opened up on its home court on Thursday night, posting a convincing 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-18) decision over Shenandoah University in the Rose Bente Lee Center.

Junior Margaret McAlpin set the tone on offense with a team-high 12 kills, followed by seniorsCailyn Thomas and Emileigh Rettig who each added 10. Rettig now sits just five kills away from the 1,000 mark in her career donning the blue and white. 

Junior Christine Tieman and sophomore Caroline Hanson kept the offense moving, racking up 22 and 20 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, freshman Theresa Bucsemi scooped up a game-high 17 digs in her first collegiate start. 

The Saints trailed 9-5 early on in set one before Head Coach Beth Ann Wilson tried to rally the squad with the first timeout. Marymount came out of the break on a 3-1 run to close the deficit, but the score continued to sway back and forth. In a last-ditch effort, MU tied the game at 21 after back-to-back errors by the Hornets, but SU managed to pull out the win in set one, 25-21. 

Marymount found its rhythm in the second set taking an early 1-0 lead off of a kill by Thomas. The Saints took command quickly, forcing a Hornet timeout after extending the lead to 7-3. Following the timeout, MU pieced together a 5-1 run after seeing two kills from Rettig, a kill from Thomas, and an ace from sophomore Ashton Walker. Shenandoah took their final timeout after trailing 19-10 before the Saints finished it out with a kill from Walker, 25-13. 

Set three started in a similar fashion as Marymount took an impressive 7-2 lead, forcing the Hornets to regroup early. Rettig kept swinging and picked up her ninth kill to force another timeout by Shenandoah at 19-11. MU continued to capitalize on errors made by the Hornets and finished the set, 25-17.

McAlpin connected with Tieman to open set four with three-straight kills to give the Saints a 4-0 lead. Another 4-1 rally, including kills by McAlpin and Walker and a Hanson ace, pushed a seven-point lead, a lead that wouldn't falter the rest of the way. The dominate fourth and final set came to a close in favor of MU, 25-18. 

Shenadoah's Elizabeth Lamont led the team in kills with 13, while Jasmine Callahan passed out 18 assists. On the defensive end, Emma Murphy led the Hornets with 16 digs. 

The women will head to Haverford, Pennsylvania to face off in a two-day tournament that features matchups against Clark University, Arcadia University, Haverford College, and Delaware Valley University. The Saints will take the court at 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., on Saturday, September 3. The trip will close out on Sunday with two more matches set to begin at 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.