Volleyball Falls in Three Sets at Dist. of Columbia
WASHINGTON – Freshman middle blocker Christina Hickey's .500 hitting percentage, and junior outside hitter Suzanne Byrne's nine-kill, eight-dig efforts were not enough Saturday afternoon, as the Queens College volleyball team dropped a three-set, East Coast Conference match at the University of the District of Columbia (27-25, 25-22, 25-23).
Hickey (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) put down seven kills with one error on 12 attempts, while also adding an assisted block. Sophomore Ceren Kilic (Istanbul, Turkey) dished out 17 assists in the Knights' (2-5, 0-2 ECC) 6-2 offense, while adding a .385 hitting percentage (5-0-13) and five digs. Byrne's (Richmond, B.C.) eight digs led the QC defense.
Despite Queens winning the kills battle by a 39-34 count, UDC (5-9, 1-3 ECC) held advantages in hitting percentage (.233-.195) and digs (43-31). The Knights' Achilles' heel was also a sub-par performance at the service line, as they registered just five aces against 14 service errors.
Set one was a nip-and-tuck affair throughout, with eight ties and three lead changes taking place as neither team got ahead by more than three points.
Set two featured more of the same, before UDC ripped off five straight points mid-set to take a 19-13 lead. QC refused to go away quietly, as a host of Knights scored points during a 4-2 spurt to pull within one point at 22-21. The hosts pushed the next two points, and used a set-ending kill from Vanessa Garley (match-high 11 kills, .500 hitting pct.) to take a 2-0 advantage.
Queens jumped out to a 6-3 lead early on in set three, before a 6-1 spurt by UDC gave it a 9-7 edge. Hickey added a kill in helping to tie the set at 9-all, before UDC pulled away to a five-point lead – as late as the 21-16 mark. QC got back to within two-point deficits on four occasions, and staved off two match points to pull within a 24-23 count on back-to-back kills by Pavlovic and Byrne. But it was a Garley put-away once again that gave the Firebirds the set, and the match.
Head coach Leanna Taylor's Knights are back in ECC action Tuesday night (Sept. 27), when they play host to Dowling College in a 7 p.m. first serve from Fitzgerald Gymnasium.