BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Marist volleyball team concluded the non-conference of its schedule Saturday, splitting a pair of matches at the Crosstown Tournament. The Red Foxes cruised to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-16) victory over St. Francis (N.Y.) before falling to host Lehigh in a tough five-set decision 3-2 (25-16, 22-25, 25-17, 25-27, 15-11).

Marist 3, St. Francis (N.Y.) 0

Four Red Foxes had at least seven kills and a .375 hitting percentage as the Marist volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-16) win over St. Francis (N.Y.) at the Crosstown Tournament. The win extended the Red Foxes winning streak to five consecutive matches.

Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) hit a match-high 15 kills to just three attacking errors for a .387 hitting percentage. Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) was perfect with nine kills and zero errors for a .600 hitting percentage and Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Colo.) also did not commit an error with five kills, hitting at a .556 clip. Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) finished with seven kills and just one error for a .429 hitting percentage. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) played the first two sets and finished with 24 assists while Amanda Schlegel (Austin, Texas) had 16 assists in the third set. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led the defense with a match-high 15 digs.

Marist (6-3) jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first set on the back of three kills apiece from both Stephens and Hill. Jones also added two kills and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) contributed a service ace. With the lead down to five at 19-14, the Red Foxes scored five straight points, and six out of seven, on kills by Shaw, Jones and Gilbert and an ace from Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) to win the set 25-15. Hill led all players with six kills in the set and Stephens was right behind her with five. Overall, Marist hit .538 as a team, finishing the set with 16 kills and just two errors.

The second set was tight at the beginning, but three straight points on kills by Shaw, Jones and Gilbert gave Marist a 10-7 lead. Leading 13-10, the Red Foxes rattled off another 5-0 run, on the back of a kill and ace from Jones and a solo block by Stephens, to take a commanding 18-10 lead. Marist finished the set on a 5-2 run, on two kills by Hill and one from Gilbert to win the second frame 25-16. Hill had another four kills in the second set while Stephens, Jones and Gilbert each had two. Zywick had six digs.

An early 4-0 run gave Marist a 5-1 lead at the beginning of the third set. Stephens led the early charge with two kills and teamed with Schlegel for a pair of blocks. With the lead down to just one at 5-4, the Red Foxes went on a tear, scoring 10 of 11 points to take a controlling 15-5 lead. Hill led the streak with four kills while Shaw had two and Gilbert added another. A kill by freshman Amanda Bradley (East Haven, Conn.) finished the set and the match. Hill topped off her afternoon with another five kills in the third frame and Zywick added another six digs.

Lehigh 3, Marist 2

Stephens had a match-high 15 kills and three blocks. Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) finished with 12 kills and Jones had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. Brady also had a double-double with 48 assists and tied her career-high with 17 digs. Zywick led all players in the match with 21 digs while freshman Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had a career-high 11 digs.

The first set was back-and-forth until Lehigh used a 4-0 run to take an 11-6 lead. A solo block by Stephens and service ace from Gilbert helped cut the deficit to 11-9, but Lehigh went on an 8-3 run to open a commanding 19-12 lead.

The Red Foxes trailed 12-7 in the second set before going on an 11-3 run to jump ahead 18-15. Stephens and Jones each had two kills to lead the run and Jones and Zywick each added a service ace. Lehigh fought back to tie the score at 22, but a kill by Jones and two Lehigh errors gave Marist the set, 25-22.

The third set saw Lehigh use a 7-0 run to take a 13-5 lead, but the Red Foxes responded immediately with five consecutive points of their own to close within 13-10. Lahey had two more kills, Gilbert added one of her own and Brady had a service ace. Marist eventually closed to within 16-14, but Lehigh closed the set with a 9-3 run.

Neither team could take a lead of more than a few points in the fourth set. After Lehigh took a 23-22 lead, a Stephens’ kill and Lehigh error gave Marist set point at 24-23. Lehigh however scored two straight points to take the lead and bring it to match point. Stephens came up with her biggest kill to tie the score at 25 and Lahey gave Marist the lead back at 26-25 with a kill of her own. An ace by Jones pushed the match to a deciding fifth set.

The fifth set was just as tight as the fourth until Lehigh erased a 10-9 deficit with five consecutive points to take a 14-10 lead. Another Lahey kill could not spark a comeback as Lehigh put the set and match away.

The Red Foxes open conference play next weekend with two home matches. Manhattan visits McCann Arena on Saturday before Iona comes to town on Sunday. Both matches are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

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