By Connor Giblin
POUGHKEEPSIE – Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Newblatt’s single-match kills record lasted only 16 hours. That is because she set a new program benchmark with 34 kills in Marist’s four-set triumph over Niagara on Sunday afternoon at McCann Arena.
Newblatt, who previously broke the record with 31 kills vs. Canisius on Saturday, recorded 34 kills on 74 attempts, good for a .311 hitting percentage. She also added a match-high 22 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Gabriella Heimbauer accompanied her classmate’s career day with a career-best 26 kills on 65 swings, hitting .246. It marked the first time in her Marist tenure she eclipsed the 20-kill plateau.
Continuing the second-year Red Fox trend, sophomore Anne Mahler led Marist with a career-high 34 assists after taking over for an injured McKinley Fox. Six Red Foxes recorded double figures in digs.
Mary Redl paced Niagara with 17 kills, Amanda Darling had 21 digs, and Jessica Streuer had a game-best 36 assists.
In the first set, the largest lead either team had was four, which Niagara built at 5-1 and 8-4 before Marist would cut the deficit.
Heimbauer and Newblatt contributed to a 4-0 run for Marist that staked them to an 11-8 edge.
Three Niagara kills put the visitors ahead 24-23, but Newblatt’s kill and ensuing service ace gave the Red Foxes the advantage, capped with Heimbauer’s kill to close the opening stanza.
The Purple Eagles jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second set, as Redl had two kills.
Heimbauer and freshman outside hitter Sally Tietjen pulled Marist within 8-7, but Niagara responded with four straight points, capitalizing on three Marist attack errors.
Down 14-11, the Red Foxes went to Heimbauer and Newblatt while taking advantage of Niagara errors on freshman libero Jillian Hanna’s serve to take a 16-14 lead.
Marist was on top 24-22, but three errors and a Jaycie Roberts kill gave Niagara the 26-24 win in the second set, evening the match at one.
Neither side had a lead larger than three in the third set. Marist went ahead 10-7 early off Heimbauer’s swing and Cassie Seminoff’s attack error.
Niagara swung the lead in their favor 20-19 as Seminoff notched an ace, then Redl tallied the kill on the next play.
The Red Foxes faced set point against them, but Heimbauer and sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Zolg pushed Marist ahead, and Newblatt’s swing sealed a 26-24 decision for the Red Foxes.
Tied 3-3 in the fourth set, the Red Foxes rattled off four straight points, capped with sophomore outside hitter Sasha Van der Merwe’s strike.
Marist maintained an advantage no larger than two up until two straight attack errors tied the frame at 16.
The Purple Eagles erased a 23-19 deficit thanks to four Marist errors. From there, each team traded points to get to 26-26.
Taylor Ellen couldn’t handle an attack to give the Red Foxes the lead, then Heimbauer closed the game from the left.
Marist boosts its MAAC record to 6-3, and is 11-9 overall.
The Red Foxes host Siena in their Pink Out Match on Saturday, October 16th at 1 p.m.
Marist is partnering with Miles of Hope in the Hudson Valley to raise awareness for breast cancer research.