LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - The Marist volleyball team completed a strong end to the 2012 season, coming back from a two-set deficit to defeat Rider 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 16-14) Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Conference (MAAC) match. The Red Foxes won five of their final six matches to close out the season.
Freshman Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) set a career-high in kills for the second straight day, finishing with a team-high 16, to lead five players in double figures. Katie Estes (Saugus, Calif.) had a double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs and Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) also had 13 kills while Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa) and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) each had 11 kills, which was a career-high for Brady who also chipped in 51 assists and five service aces. Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) and Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) both shattered their previous career-highs with 29 and 27 digs, respectively. Jones' tied for the seventh most in a single match in Marist's history. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) also had 28 digs, giving her 444 for the season which is the third most in a Marist single season.
Marist (12-16, 8-10 MAAC) used a 5-0 run early in the first set to take a 7-4 lead on two kills by Estes and one each from Stephens, Gilbert and Brady. Out of a timeout however, Rider (11-17, 4-14 MAAC) took the lead right back with five straight points of their own. The Red Foxes eventually took the lead back at 17-15 on kills by Jones and Estes, but the Broncs finished the set on a 10-5 run to take the opening frame 25-22.
The second set started out the same way as Marist took an early 8-5 lead on two kills by Estes sandwiched around two Brady service aces. Rider used a streak of four straight points to eventually tie the score at 15-15 and then followed it up with a 7-1 run to take control at 24-18.
The Red Foxes started their comeback in the third set, using a 7-0 streak to erase a two-point deficit and take a 15-10 lead. Stephens had two kills and a block to lead the charge and Jones, Shaw and Brady each had a kill of their own. The Broncs closed to within one at 21-20, but Marist closed the set with four straight points, on kills by Stephens and Brady and two Rider errors.
Again, the Red Foxes had to come from behind in the fourth set, scoring four consecutive points to take a one-point lead at 16-15. The score was tied at 22 when Marist then scored three of the final four points to tie the match and force a deciding fifth set.
In the final frame, Rider jumped out to a 4-1 lead despite another Brady ace. Back-to-back aces by Estes and a kill by Shaw brought the Red Foxes back into a tie at 5-5. After the Broncs took an 8-6 lead, Marist used a 5-1 run to take a two point lead of their own at 11-9. Brady, Stephens and Estes each had a kill in the streak. Rider came back to take a 13-12 lead, but a kill by Gilbert and a Rider error gave the Red Foxes match point. The Broncs stayed alive with a kill, but a Jones' kill again put Marist on the brink of victory and this time, Shaw finished it off with another kill.
"Once again, we found a way to win," Marist Head Coach Tom Hanna said. "I am extremely proud of this team in the way they finished the season strong after all of the injuries we suffered. I look forward to being in the thick of the race for a MAAC championship next season."