SCRANTON, Pa. - The University of Scranton volleyball team and SUNY-Cortland battled for five sets in out-of-conference play on Tuesday night, but it was the visiting Red Dragons who were able to sneak out of the John Long Center with a five-set victory over the Royals (25-19, 17-25, 25-13, 20-25, 13-15).
With the defeat, Scranton fell to 6-5 on the year, while SUNY-Cortland improved to 5-4 overall with the victory.
The first four sets of the contest all had a similar tone, in that one team would take a large lead early in the set, then ride the wave of momentum to a decisive victory.
This was the case for Scranton in the first set and the dominating third set in which they won by 12 points to take a 2-1 lead in the contest.
However, SUNY-Cortland bounced back from each game loss, winning game two and game four in decisive fashion to send the match to a winner-take-all fifth game.
There, Scranton was able to take control early, going up 8-4 on the Red Dragons. However, SUNY-Cortland once again came back, tying the match at 11-11, then again at 12-12.
The Royals then scored what turned out to be their final point of the match next, going up 13-12. Unfortunately, SUNY-Cortland scored the final three points of the game to take it and the match in five sets by two.
Overall, the Royals were led on the attack by sophomore Kristin Kirwan (Park Ridge, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy), who finished the match with 14 kills and 11 digs. For Kirwan, she has now hit double-figures in kills in six of the 11 matches Scranton has played so far on the year.
Many of the attacks on the night were set up by senior Bailey Woods (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven), who had 34 assists, while on the defensive end, fellow senior Danielle Cafiero (Merrick, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) finished with a game-high 26 digs.
The University of Scranton volleyball team returns to action on Friday, traveling to Christopher Newport for the CNU Invitational. There, the Royals will first take on Averett at 6 p.m., then face-off with the host CNU at 8 p.m.