BALTIMORE, Md. - The Marist volleyball team withstood a Loyola comeback and won for the fourth time in the last five matches, 3-2 (19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 19-25, 15-6), Saturday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match.
Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) led all players with 19 kills while only committing two errors for a .415 hitting percentage. Katie Estes (Saugus, Calif.) was right behind her with 15 kills and freshman Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) was also in double figures, setting a career-high with 11 kills. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) had 49 assists while Brooke Zywick recorded a match-high 31 digs, tying for the fifth all-time in Marist history for a single match. Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) was also in double figures with 15 digs.
Marist (11-16, 7-10) held a lead for much of the first set, extending it to a three-point advantage at 15-12 on kills by Stephens and Estes and a Jones' service ace. Following a timeout however, Loyola (13-14, 6-10) rattled off 10 consecutive points to take a controlling 22-15 lead. The Red Foxes scored four of the next five points on two Loyola errors and another kill from both Stephens and Estes to pull within 23-19, but the Greyhounds closed out the set on back-to-back kills.
The Red Foxes used that late run in the first set to jump out to an early 9-2 lead in the second frame and force another Loyola timeout. Estes and Stephens each had two kills and Jones added one of her own as well as a block by Stephens and Brady. The Greyhounds closed to within 15-11, but Marist answered with a 5-1 run to jump back ahead 20-15. Jones, Estes, Stephens and Brady all had a kill in the streak. Consecutive kills by Estes and Shaw and a Loyola error provided the final three points and gave Marist the 25-16 set win to tie the match.
Three kills by Stephens and two each by Jones and Shaw sparked another early Marist run in the third set that gave the Red Foxes a 15-8 lead. Stephens and Jones also teamed up for another block and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) added a kill of her own. They extended the lead to 21-12 on two more kills by Brady, a kill by Estes and an ace by Jones. Loyola made a late run, but Shaw closed out the set with two late kills.
After a back-and-forth start to the fourth set, Loyola eventually jumped ahead by three points at 15-12. The Red Foxes responded with five consecutive points to take a 17-15 lead on a kill by Estes and a three-person block from Estes, Gilbert and Shaw. The Greyhounds finished the set however, scoring 10 of the final 12 points to force a fifth set with a 25-19 win.
Loyola took a quick 3-2 lead in the final frame, but the Red Foxes answered with a 6-1 run to take control at 8-4. Estes had two more kills and Stephens added another while the Greyhounds made three errors. Following a Loyola point, Marist scored five straight to take a 13-5 lead. Again, the run was fueled by Estes who had two service aces and a kill. Gilbert and Stephens hit back-to-back kills to close out the match.
The Red Foxes close out their 2012 season with a Sunday afternoon match at Rider.