LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Sophomore Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) had a career-high 18 kills, helping lead the Marist volleyball team to a thrilling, come-from-behind 3-2 (25-20, 17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-13) victory over Siena in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match Thursday night. Siena had entered the match undefeated in MAAC play with a 5-0 record.
After fighting back to force a fifth set, the Red Foxes (10-5, 4-1 MAAC) trailed for most of the fifth set. After trailing 8-6 at the crossover, Marist forced a tie at 11-11. Siena (6-10, 5-1 MAAC) took the lead back at 13-12, but Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) answered right away with a kill to knot things back up. After a Siena timeout, Stephens and Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) teamed together for a joint block to give the Red Foxes set and match point. Marist went right back to Stephens for her final kill to complete the comeback.
Stephens finished with 12 kills, including the two big late kills. Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Colo.) was also in double figures with 11 kills. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) was just short of a double-double with 50 assists and nine digs. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led the defensive effort with 18 digs while Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) also had nine digs. Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) and Jones each finished with eight digs.
The first set was back and forth to start, with neither team able to pull away by more than three points for more than half the set. Marist was the first to make a run when, leading 16-15, the Red Foxes went on a 7-1 run to expand their lead to 23-16. Brady started the streak with a kill and a service ace. Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) and Shaw followed with kills, sandwiched around a Siena timeout. Following a block by the Saints, Hill, Shaw and Lahey all hit kills to finish the run. After Siena cut the lead to 24-20, Lahey finished off the set with a loud kill. Lahey led all players with seven kills in the set while Brady had 13 assists.
Shaw started the second set off with an immediate kill, but the Saints answered with five consecutive points to take a 5-1 lead and force a Marist timeout. Siena extended its lead to 9-2, but the Red Foxes fought back - on two kills from Hill and one apiece from Brady, Gilbert and Lahey - to cut the deficit to 13-10 and force the Saints to use a timeout of their own.Out of the break however, Siena scored three straight points to bring its lead back to six. Trailing 23-13, the Red Foxes scored four consecutive points, on two Saints’ errors and kills from Hill and Liz Gassman (Glenside, Pa.), but Siena closed the set with a pair of blocks to win the set 25-17. Lahey had three more kills in the set to bring her total to 10 while Millington led the defense with five digs in the second set.
Siena again jumped out to a lead in the third set, taking an early 4-1 advantage. Marist was never able to pull within more than two the entire set as Siena pulled away for a 25-18 victory. Lahey and Shaw each had three kills in the frame.
It was Marist’s turn to take the early lead in the fourth set, going up 5-2 on three kills by Stephens as well as one from Jones and an ace from Millington. The Saints fought back to tie things up at 10, and eventually took a 16-14 lead. A service error and back-to-back blocks, with Stephens teaming up for one with each Lahey and Brady, gave the Red Foxes a 17-16 lead. Following a Siena point, the Red Foxes rattled off five consecutive points - on two kills by Lahey and one apiece from Stephens and Gilbert – to take a 22-17 lead. Siena closed to within 24-22, but a kill by Jones finished off the set. Stephens led the offense with five kills while Zywick had seven digs.
The Red Foxes are off this weekend and will return to the court for a three matches next week, starting with a midweek match at defending MAAC Champion Fairfield on Wednesday. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. Marist will stay on the road through the weekend with matches at Rider (Saturday) and Saint Peter’s (Sunday).