NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's volleyball team picked up its first win of the season on Saturday afternoon, holding on for a 3-2 final over Dean College in New England Collegiate Conference play at the Yarnall Athletic Center.
The Mariners, who went to a fifth and deciding set for the first time this season, won by set scores of 25-21, 25-19, 24-26, 17-25 and 15-12. Marissa Sweeney posted team highs of 13 kills and 18 digs to record her first career double-double. Italia Krick also contributed 10 kills while Ariana Carter and Gabrielle Murphy added nine and eight, respectively. Lauren Tompkins handed out 39 assists and came up with 17 digs.
Dean's Kaitlyn Anderson led all players with 27 kills and chipped in with 15 digs. Melanie Rios-Nevarez finished with 33 assists and 16 digs while Samantha Trullo tacked on 17 digs.
In the first set of the day, Dean won the first five points and played with the lead for most of the stanza. The Bulldogs later led 18-11 before the Mariners turned things around with a 13-2 run that included service aces from Myia Williams, Krick and Tanisha Ruiz. Sweeney also added a pair of kills during the stretch as Mitchell closed out the set on a Dean attack error.
Four consecutive aces from Megan Elphick gave the Mariners a 5-2 lead early in the second set. The Bulldogs closed the margin and the score remained tight until back-to-back kills by Williams and another ace by Elphick put Mitchell ahead 18-14. From there the Mariners never gave up the lead again and finished off the set with a kill from Krick, her fourth of the frame.
A service ace by Anderson put Dean on top 20-15 late in the third set. Mitchell rallied back with five unanswered points to tie the score at 20-20, and later the Mariners fought off three set points to tie the score again at 24-24. However, the Bulldogs hung on behind kills from Paola Gonzalez and Anderson to extend the match.
The fourth set was tied at 12-12 when Dean ripped off a 9-2 run to seize control. Aminah Tsonga supplied two service aces and a kill during the spurt. Anderson contributed nine kills in the stanza as the Bulldogs evened the match at 2-2.
Dean won the first three points of the fifth set to seize the early momentum, although Mitchell quickly trimmed the deficit and later tied things up at 9-9. The Mariners took the lead at 11-10 and closed out the contest by winning five of the final seven points, with match point coming on a block by Williams and Sweeney to secure the victory. Murphy also had a big final set, supplying four kills in the stanza.
Prior to the match, the Mariners honored five seniors—Krick, Williams, Ruiz, Elphick and Tompkins—in a special ceremony. Williams finished with seven kills and two blocks while Elphick added six aces and 10 digs. Ruiz also recorded a career-high eight digs on the day.
Mitchell (1-14 overall, 1-2 NECC) will next play at Bay Path University on Thursday, October 19 at 7 p.m. Dean (8-11 overall, 1-2 NECC) returns to action at home against Becker College on Tuesday, October 17 at 7 p.m.