|Carah Vitkus||Eryn Boken||Kyra Bevenour|
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - An eventful opening day for The University of Scranton volleyball team at the 2019 Carnegie Mellon Invitational ended on a high note on Friday afternoon, as the Royals rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to upend Case Western Reserve, 3-2.
In their first match of the day, the Royals fell in straight sets to Muskingum, 3-0. With the split, Scranton is now 5-4 overall on the year.
Scranton 3, Case Western Reserve 2 (14-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-13) | Box Score
Led by a dominant effort on the attack by freshman Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac), who finished with a game-high 19 kills, the Royals put together a stirring comeback in the nightcap with Case Western Reserve, winning three straight sets after falling behind, 2-0, early.
After falling in both the first and second sets by sizeable margins, Scranton attacked back in the third game, opening a 23-16 lead late to make it a 2-1 match with a three-point victory.
The fourth set saw Case Western open up a 20-18 lead late and looking poised to end the match. But, once again, Scranton fought back, scoring five of the last seven points of the game to tie the match up at 2-2 with a two-point victory.
In the decisive fifth set and riding a huge wave of momentum, Scranton finally overtook Case Western, but not without a fight. Down 13-12 late, the Royals put away the match emphatically scoring the last three points of play, capped by back-to-back kills by Vitkus to clinch the win for the Royals.
Overall, Vitkus put together the best performance of the season on the attack for Scranton with her 19-kill performance, as she hit .400 in the win, making just three errors on 40 total attacks.
Elsewhere, sophomore Eryn Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Westridge School for Girls) had 12 kills, and junior Tess Ungerleider (Springboro, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) finished with nine kills. Setting up the attack all game was junior Kyra Bevenour (Sicklerville, N.J./Washington Township), who had a career-high 40 assists, while junior libero Regina Schetroma (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) once again led the defense with 26 digs.
Muskingum 3, Scranton 0 (19-25, 38-40, 20-25) | Box Score
In their first match of the Invitational, the Royals fell in straight sets to unbeaten Muskingum (9-0), but not without making some history in the second set.
There, the Royals and Muskies played the longest set in the history of Royals volleyball, as no team ever had more than a three point lead the entire game. This led to a back and forth tiebreak that lasted until Scranton took a 38-37 lead. There, Muskingum scored three points in a row to take the set and go up, 2-0, in the match.
After losing a tough second set, Scranton couldn't muster much in the third game, as Muskingum built a 15-7 lead early and never looked back to end the match in three sets.
In the defeat, freshman Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) led the attack with nine kills, 16 assists, and seven digs. Three players had eight kills, apiece, in the loss - Ungerleider, Boken and sophomore Trinity Manning (Point Lookout, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial). Junior Kindler Norman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) finished with seven kills and 17 assists, while Schetroma had 18 digs, as well.
The University of Scranton volleyball team finishes play at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational on Saturday, as they take on Mount Union (11 a.m.) and Washington & Jefferson (1 p.m.).