Volleyball Splits Pair of Five-Set Thrillers on Final Day of Scranton Invitational

Jillian Graham Kyra Bevenour Kindler Norman


SCRANTON -- The University of Scranton volleyball team went the distance in both of their matches on Saturday in the final day of the Scranton Invitational, as the Royals bested RIT, 3-2, before falling by the same score to Coast Guard in the nightcap inside the Long Center.

With the split, Scranton is now 2-1 on the young season.

Scranton 3, RIT 2 (25-14, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14) | Box Score

In their opening match of the day, Scranton and RIT fought back and forth all match, as the Royals pulled out a tough win despite a valiant comeback attempt by RIT in the fifth set.

To start the match, Scranton rolled to a 25-14 victory after opening an early 19-6 lead in the set. From there, however, it was about as even of a match as it could be between the schools.

In the second set, RIT opened up a 20-15 lead, only to see Scranton come back and cut the RIT lead to one twice (22-21, 24-23). However, the Tigers captured the set and tied the match up at 1-1 after a Scranton attack error.

Scranton, however, came back late in the third set, as they scored the final two points of play after a seesaw affair was tied up at 23-all. The final two points of the set for the Royals were scored by juniors Jillian Graham (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) and Tess Ungerleider (Springboro, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) on kills.

Primed to end the match in four sets, the Royals grabbed a 21-16 lead late in the game on the Tigers. RIT, however, ended the set on a flurry, as a 9-2 run lifted the Tigers to a two-point win, sending the match to a decisive fifth set in the process.

In the final set, it seemed Scranton was well on their way to their second win of the year after opening a 14-5 lead and on game point. RIT, however, miraculously scored nine points in a row to tie the match up at 14-14.

There, Scranton finally grabbed the lead back on an RIT attack error. On game point once again, the Royals quickly ended the match to take the win, as a block-assist at the net by senior Victoria Capogna (Farmingdale, N.Y./St. Anthony's) and freshman Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) extinguished the comeback attempt by RIT.

Overall in the RIT match, Graham had a big match, finishing with a career-high 16 kills to pace the Scranton attack. Elsewhere, Ungerleider had 11 kills also a career-high.

Elsewhere, sophomore Eryn Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Westridge School for Girls) had nine kills to round out the top offensive performers, while on defense, junior libero Regina Schetroma (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) had 20 digs. Junior Kyra Bevenour (Sicklerville, N.J./Washington Township) had a big match setting up the attack with 25 assists (to go with 14 digs). Meanwhile, another junior Kindler Norman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) had 16 assists, 12 digs, and six kills in the victory.

For RIT, Katie Hobler led the way with 18 kills

Coast Guard 3, Scranton 2 (25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-13) | Box Score

In the final match of the Invitational for both Coast Guard and the Royals, the visiting Bears came out strong in the first set, opening an insurmountable 18-10 lead in the middle of the game and never looking back.

It was more the same in the second set, but it was Scranton who took a big early lead (17-8), rolling to a nine-point win to tie the match up at 1-1. In the third set, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Scranton scoring three points in a row (after being down 24-23) to take a two-point win on a tiebreak and go up 2-1 in the match.

In the fourth set, however, Coast Guard battled back, rolling to a 10-point win to set up a decisive fifth game. There, it remained close between the squads throughout. But, with things tied up at 13-13, Coast Guard took control, scoring back-to-back points to win the match in five.

Overall in the defeat for Scranton, Norman led the Royals in both kills (10) and assists (21). Capogna finished with nine kills, while Boken had eight to round out the top offensive performers for Scranton.

Elsewhere, sophomore Molly Dunfee (King of Prussia, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) led the defense with 17 digs, while senior Kristin Bush (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) had 15 digs. Bevenour rounded out the top performers for Scranton in the loss with 15 assists and 12 digs.

Coast Guard was led in the win by Amanda Dake, who had a match-high 17 kills

The University of Scranton volleyball team returns to action on Friday, as they travel to Lebanon Valley for a road non-conference match. First serve is set for 6 p.m.