By Connor Giblin and Jake DeGruccio
JERSEY CITY, NJ – Marist Volleyball took the road to the Garden State to face off against Saint Peter’s, picking up their fourth consecutive victory with a four-set decision on Saturday afternoon at the Run Baby Run Arena.
The contest marked the first in the new arena for the Peacocks, who played their first home game in nearly two years. The Red Foxes were on the road for the first time in four matches.
Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Newblatt exploded for a career-high 26 kills and added a match-high 20 digs to lead Marist. Senior setter McKinley Fox registered 44 assists and had 14 digs on her ledger as well. Senior outside hitter Madelyn Waumans posted nine kills and 13 digs.
Alanis Alvarado led Saint Peter’s with 17 kills.
Marist established firm control of the first set early on, creating distance and capitalizing on every scoring opportunity for a 9-4 lead.
A 7-0 run put the Red Foxes up 20-13, but Saint Peter’s went on a comeback to tie it at 23.
A barn-burner finish saw the Peacocks score the set’s final three points, including kills from Alvarado and Wildalys Soto.
The second set kicked off in very similar fashion to its predecessor, with Marist scoring the first five and taking advantage of five Peacock errors for a 9-2 edge.
With Waumans and Newblatt headlining the offense with 16 combined kills, Marist cruised through the second set, 25-13.
Fox totaled 25 assists by the 3rd set’s commencement. As for Saint Peter’s, Wildalys Soto and Charlee Cordts were facilitating the offense. The third set started tightly-knit – the Peacocks were up 9-5 and 10-8 early on before three errors put the Red Foxes ahead 12-10.
In the final minutes of the frame, a triple-kill offensive from Newblatt erased a 20-17 Marist deficit. Following up with blocking from Alyssa White and Gabby Murray in the middle and three kills from freshman outside hitter Sally Tietjen, the visitors fended off the Peacocks to give Marist the win, 26-24.
In the fourth, the Red Foxes trailed the Peacocks by as many as four, 13-9. Saint Peter’s also built up a 23-20 lead.
It wasn’t until the very end when the offense blossomed, as Marist capitalized on attack errors and bad sets, grabbing several kills along the way. Newblatt had four straight to put Marist ahead 24-23.
Saint Peter’s tied it right after at 24, but Newblatt and a Saint Peter’s attack error sealed the win.