POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Senior setter Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) became just the sixth player in Marist history to reach 2,000 career assists, helping lead the Marist volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-18) win over Dartmouth in the Volley in the Valley Tournament at McCann Arena.
Brady finished with 50 assists in the match, reaching the milestone on assist #48. She also added seven digs and one block. Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) had a match-high 16 kills to lead three Red Foxes in double figures. She also had eight total blocks. Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) finished with 13 kills and Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) added 12. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led the defense with a match-high 18 digs. As a team, Marist finished with a .310 hitting percentage, as compared to Dartmouth’s .138.
Marisa Gilbert (Pfulgerville, Texas) started the match right off with an ace, helping the Red Foxes (2-3) jump out to a quick 7-1 lead. Stephens had three kills and a block in the opening run and Lahey also contributed two kills and a block. Marist maintained an average lead of six points for most of the rest of the set before scoring the final three points, on kills from Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) and Lahey to win the set 25-15. The Red Foxes finished the opening frame with a .533 hitting percentage, hitting 18 kills to just two attacking errors. Hill and Stephens each had five kills to lead the offense and Brady also had 16 assists.
The second set was back-and-forth at the beginning with both teams made small runs. Trailing 4-3, Marist used a 10-5 run on the back of two kills each from Stephens and Lahey and one from Hill, to take a four-point lead at 13-9. The Red Foxes maintained that advantage until using a final 6-2 run to put the set away at 25-18. Shaw, Lahey and Stephens all had kills at the end and Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) added a service ace. Stephens had another five kills in the second set to give her 10 for the match.
The Big Green (0-1) took an early 3-0 lead in the third set, but two Dartmouth errors and a Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) ace quickly knotted things back up. The set remained deadlocked almost the rest of the way until Dartmouth used another 3-0 run to break a 21-21 tie and bring it to set point. After a Gilbert kill cut the deficit to 24-22, the Big Green ended it on a kill. Lahey had three kills in the set to lead Marist.
The Red Foxes scored eight straight points at the beginning of the fourth set to take a commanding 8-1 early lead. Stephens and Lahey each had two kills in the streak and Stephens added a solo block. Millington also contributed a kill and another service ace. Dartmouth closed to within 9-7 with an 8-1 run, but Marist did not let them get any closer. Kills by Hill and Shaw spurred a 5-2 run for the Red Foxes that padded their lead to 15-10 and they did not look back. Amanda Bradley (East Haven, Conn.) recorded her first career kill to win both the set and the match.
Marist is right back on the court on Saturday to conclude the Volley in the Valley Tournament. The Red Foxes will play Hartford at 12:30 p.m. and UMass Lowell at 6 p.m. Both matches will take place in McCann Arena and admission is free to the public.