POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist volleyball team did all it could with a pieced-together lineup, falling short by a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12) score to Loyola (Md.) Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match at McCann Arena.
Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) followed up her career-high 20 kills on Saturday with a team-high 12 kills as well as five more blocks on Sunday. Katie Estes (Saugus, Calif.) had 11 kills and seven digs while Hanna Stoiberg (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), returning after missing the past three matches with injury, had 10 kills, 18 assists, six blocks and four services aces. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) had a match-high 22 digs and Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) was also in double digits with 12. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) had 23 assists.
Loyola took control of the first set right from the beginning. After a Stephens' kill tied the score at 4-4 for Marist (7-13, 3-7 MAAC), the Greyhounds (11-10, 4-6 MAAC) rattled off five straight points, and seven of eight, to take an 11-5 lead. The Red Foxes could only get within five points the rest of the set as Loyola won 25-17 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Stephens had four kills in the opening set and Stoiberg had three.
Marist again fell behind in the second set, but three straight points on kills by Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) and Stoiberg and a block from Stoiberg and Jemma Fadum (Elbert, Co.) knotted the score at 4-4. With the score still tied at 14-all, the Red Foxes closed the set on am 11-3 run to tie the match at one set apiece. Stoiberg started the run with three of her service aces, mixed around a kill from Gilbert before Gilbert teamed up with Fadum for another block. Following a Loyola point, Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) had back-to-back kills to extend Marist's lead to 21-15. Later, Stephens and Shaw combined for consecutive blocks before Shaw finished the set with another kill.
The third set again belonged to Loyola early as they jumped out to a 10-4 lead. Following a timeout, the Red Foxes closed to within two with four straight points that included a solo block from Fadum. The Greyhounds extended their lead back to six at 17-11, but Marist continued to try to fight back, closing in with three consecutive points on blocks by Stephens and Gilbert as well as Fadum and Stoiberg to bring the score 17-14. Loyola would close the set on an 8-1 run however, to take the third set 25-15.
The Red Foxes dominated the fourth set early, taking a quick 9-4 lead to force a Loyola timeout. Stephens and Stoiberg each had a kill while also combining for another block and Gilbert added a kill of her own. Estes finished the run with three straight kills. After Loyola closed to within four at 14-10, Marist went on a streak, scoring eight of nine points to break open the set at 22-11. Stoiberg had her fourth ace of the match to start the run and Estes had two kill while Gilbert and Fadum each added one. Loyola would score 10 of the next 11 points to make it close, but a Stephens' kill and another Stephens/Stoiberg block finished the set at 25-22.
The momentum from the late run by Loyola carried over into the deciding fifth set however, as the Greyhounds scored the first five points and took a commanding 8-3 lead. Kills by Stoiberg and Fadum brought the Marist deficit to three at 9-6. After Loyola extended to 14-10, back-to-back kills by Stephens and Stoiberg closed the Red Foxes to within 14-12, but Loyola closed out the match with a kill of their own.
Marist makes its annual trip to Buffalo next week with matches at Niagara on Saturday and Canisius on Sunday. Both are slated to start at 2 p.m.