SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The University of Scranton dropped a tough, five-set decision at Susquehanna in Landmark Conference volleyball action on Wednesday night. With the win, the River Hawks improve to 17-7 on the season and 3-1 in Landmark Conference play while the Royals slip to 14-12 overall and 2-1 in league matches.
Scranton jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first set of Wednesday night's showdown before Susquehanna pulled to within four points at 15-11. The Royals extended their lead to 19-12, but the River Hawks pushed back again, making it a three-point set at 22-19. The hosts would come no closer in the frame though as Scranton scored three of the final four points to claim a 25-20 win in the opening set.
In the second set, Susquehanna used an 11-4 run to break open a 14-14 tie on their way to a 25-18 win to level the match.
Scranton took a 10-5 lead in set three, but the River Hawks rallied to build a 23-19 advantage. The Royals countered with the next four points to knot the score. The visitors fended off one set point before a kill and an attack error gave Susquehanna a 26-24 win in the frame and a 2-1 edge in the match.
Scranton came out strong in the fourth set, building a 15-7 lead before the River Hawks rallied to within four points at 22-18. The Royals claimed the set though by putting down three of the next four points, leveling the match at 2-2 with the 25-19 decision.
In the decisive fifth set, Scranton held a 7-5 lead following a Susquehanna service error, but the River Hawks rallied with 10 of the final 12 points in the set including the last five to claim the thrilling five-set win with a 15-9 triumph in the final set.
Seniors Kristin Kirwan (Park Ridge, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) and Megan Monastra (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) combined for 32 kills to lead Scranton with Kirwan posting a match-high 19 to pair with 10 digs while Monastra also recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs.
Freshman Eryn Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Westridge School for Girls) added nine kills for the Royals while sophomore Kindler Norman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) led all players with 42 assists in the match while totaling 13 digs.
Sophomore Kristin Bush (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) served up two of Scranton's five aces in the match.
The two teams were nearly even in their attacking percentages, with the Royals hitting .128 as a team in the match compared to a .125 effort by the River Hawks.
Scranton returns to the court on Friday with a pair of matches at the Stevens Invitational in Hoboken, N.J. The Royals will take on host Stevens at 4 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. match against Stockton.