Knights Clinch Second in Skyline Championship

By Steven Merritt

NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Women’s Volleyball team moved its conference winning streak to six matches on Senior Day with a 3-0 sweep of Sarah Lawrence and a thrilling five-set win against St. Joseph’s-LI. Senior Alex Klesin and junior Morgan Burke both posted a team-high seven kills in a 25-9, 25-16, 25-18 victory over the Gryphons with senior Kim Gries handing out match-high 44 assists in a 23-25, 25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 15-13 triumph over the Golden Eagles.

Mount Saint Mary 3 – Sarah Lawrence 0
The Knights controlled all three sets in Saturday’s opener, having rallies of five, six and seven straight points in the first set. The Mount also ended the second set on a 5-0 rally.

In addition to Klesin’s team-high seven kills, she had three aces, two blocks and four digs. She added nine digs to the winning effort over the Gryphons. Burke rounded out the win with the team-high in blocks with three.

Sophomore Jenny Picarello lifted a team-high 10 digs for the Knights and senior Lauren LeGere was second on the team with seven. Gries handed out 24 assists and led the team in service aces with five. She finished off the win with four digs for the Knights.

Sarah Lawrence was paced by nine winners from Melanie Coleman and Isabel Pecora handed out 14 assists. Pecora also had 10 digs on the match while Lauern Kilroy led the team different players in digs with a match-high 17.

Mount Saint Mary finished the match with a 28-15 advantage in kills and hit .174 as a team in the match. The Knights dominated aces 13-4 and rounded out the match with a 3-0 edge in total team blocks.

Mount Saint Mary 3 – St. Joseph’s-LI 2
The Knights outlasted the Golden Eagles in a five-set thriller to clinch the #2 seed in the Skyline Conference Tournament and a first round bye.

Burke lead the Knights in kills with 15, hitting an efficient .316 in the match. Junior Madelyn Barberan buried 13 winners and Klesin chipped in 12 kills to lead the Knights’ offensive attack.

Klaire Wall lifted 26 digs against the Golden Eagles with Barberan adding 19 in the win. Gries rounded out the day with 44 assists against St. Joseph’s-LI, adding three kills to the winning effort.

Alyssa Barbera had three of the team’s five aces in the match for the Mount and chipped in 12 digs in the victory. Klesin and senior Nicole Spinelli tied for the team-lead in blocks with four, while Klesin also lifted 12 digs in the match.

Kristen Bohnenblusch lead the Golden Eagles with 13 kills while Jessica Young and Amanda Goldstein each had 10 winners. Brionna Silva handed out 21 assists and Toni Parente gave out 19 helpers. Three different players had two aces for St. Joseph’s-LI while Danielle Senecal lifted 26 digs to lead the team. Young lead the team in blocks with six.

Mount Saint Mary finished the match hitting .160 as a team. The Golden Eagles held a slim 52-51 advantage in kills, also holding the service aces advantage 5-3. The Mount had a 7-6 edge in total team blocks.

With two wins on Saturday, Mount Saint Mary pushes its record to 18-13 overall on the season and to 8-2 in Skyline Conference play. Next up for the Knights is a Skyline Conference semifinal match on Thursday night at the Kaplan Center.

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