Volleyball Drops Season Opener to Shepherd, 3-1

Freshman Givens notches her first double-double of the season

EASTON, Mass. (September 2, 2017) – The Stonehill women's volleyball team opened its 2017 season by falling three sets to Shepherd University Saturday evening in Merkert Gymnasium in the Skyhawk Invitational. The Skyhawks lost with set scores of 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, and 24-26.
Stonehill's (0-1) saw two players reach double-digit kills, including Allyson Hughes (Modesto, California/Big Valley Christian) who had a match-high 13 kills. Katherine DeLanty (Smithtown, New York/Smithtown West) was the second player to notch double-digit kills, tallying 11.  Freshman Jessica Givens (Albuquerque, New Mexico/St. Pius X) recorded 42 assists in her first-collegiate match, as she registered her first double-double adding 12 digs to her statistics. Rachel Dunlavy (Brighton, Michigan/Father Gabriel Richard) and Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Barnstable) chipped in 15 and 16 digs, respectively.

The Rams got off to an early lead as Imani Major served eight-straight times, breaking open the first frame, 10-2. Stonehill came within five going on a 12-9 run, which included a big block by Givens and DeLanty, 14-19. Manuszak kept the Skyhawks alive as she closed the gap to two, 22-20, in favor of the Rams, but Shepherd wrapped up the first game, 25-21.

Stonehill found its rhythm in the second game averaging a .357 hitting percentage, the highest of the match, opening the frame with a 13-7 lead on Shepherd. The Skyhawks offense only let the Rams come within three, 16-13, as Stonehill took a 9-5 run, 25-18, to knot the match at one a piece, 1-1

In the third game, Stonehill's biggest run of the game included a four-point rally to put the Skyhawks within two, 16-14. Then, with the score toggling back and forth, Stonehill came within one, 23-22, but could not get on top of Shepherd, as the Rams closed the game with a kill by Christine Jackson, 25-23.

Once again, the Rams broke away early and held a seven-point lead, 13-6, in the fourth game, until the Skyhawks went on a 10-5 lead, cutting the deficit to two, 18-16. Stonehill tied the game for the first time, 22-22, with a block by Givens and DeLanty again and took its first lead, 24-23, but was thrown off by Shepherd's three-straight points, taking the match, 26-24.

Stonehill faces Dominican (N.Y.) College and Bloomfield College tomorrow, Sunday, September 3 to wrap up the Skyhawk Invitational. The Skyhawks battles the Chargers at 10:00 a.m. and the Bears at 5:30 p.m. in Merkert Gymnasium.   

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