LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) had a career-high 12 kills but it was not enough as the Marist volleyball team came up just short at Siena 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 16-25, 25-13, 15-10) in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match on Saturday.
Stephens also added four blocks while hitting at a .296 clip. Katie Estes (Saugus, Calif.) matched her with the 12 kills and had seven digs. Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) and Hanna Stoiberg (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) each had eight kills and Stoiberg also had 22 assists and eight digs. Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) had seven kills without an attacking error for a .350 hitting percentage. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) had a team-high 22 digs, reaching the 20-dig plateau for the second time in three matches. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) had 24 assists and two service aces.
The first set was tight back and forth at the beginning. Marist (5-11, 1-5 MAAC) scored three straight points, on two blocks from Shaw, one with Gilbert and one with Stephens, to tie the score at eight. However, Siena (10-8, 4-2 MAAC) responded with a 6-2 run to open a 14-10 lead and force a Marist timeout. The Red Foxes' deficit reached as big as six at 19-13, but two kills by Stephens and one by each by Shaw and Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) as well as a Brady ace brought Marist to within four at 23-19. The two teams traded points as Siena took the set 25-20.
The Red Foxes trailed 5-3 early in the second set but rattled off four straight points to jump ahead 7-5. Gilbert had a kill and Estes had two service aces sandwiched around a Saints' error. Siena came back to take an 11-9 lead, but Marist answered again with an 8-1 run to take a17-12 lead. Stoiberg had two kills and Stephens and Estes each added one to fuel the streak. After Siena closed to within one at 21-20, the Red Foxes scored four of the final six points of the set to win it 25-22.
The momentum carried over in a big way in the third set. Trailing 6-4, the Red Foxes scored nine straight points, taking a 13-4 lead and forcing Siena to take both of their timeouts. Gilbert had three kills and Shaw and Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) each had one along with four Siena errors. They expanded their lead to 20-12 on two kills from both Shaw and Estes as well one from Stoiberg who also added a block with Stephens. A Jones' kill and Brady ace eventually won the set 25-16 and gave Marist a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Saints gave the Red Foxes a taste of their own medicine in the fourth set, scoring seven straight points to take a commanding 13-4 lead. Despite three kills apiece from Jones and Estes, Marist could not get any closer than nine as Siena took the fourth frame 25-13, setting up a deciding fifth set.
Marist fell down 4-2 early in the final set, but kills by Gilbert and Estes brought them back to a tie at 5-5. Siena would score four of the next five points to open a 9-6 lead. A kill by Shaw brought the Red Foxes to within two at 9-7, but the Saints closed the match on a 6-3 run to complete the comeback.
The Red Foxes stay on the road next weekend with matches at Iona on Saturday and Fairfield on Sunday.