Long Run Highlights Volleyball Wins on Second Day of Tournament

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - page 4

As a defensive specialist, sophomore Julia Elkin needs to move her feet to get digs on attack attempts and return serves. But for a while during the Muhlenberg volleyball team’s third match at the Kean Invitational, her feet were stuck in the same place.

Elkin took over serving with the Mules leading 9-3 in the second set against NYU-Poly. She then served 16 straight points to close out the set.

Muhlenberg won the set, 25-3, for its most lopsided victory since 2007, and went on to win the match in four sets. The Mules (15-8) also won their second match of the day, sweeping Manhattanville in three sets.

Chelsea Kaser “I’ve experienced going on service runs before, but that was definitely one of the longer ones,” stated Elkin. “I was just thinking about getting each ball in.”

Elkin had two service aces in the long run, two of 20 Muhlenberg had in the match – just four shy of tying a school record set in 2003. Freshmen Taylor Grbelja and Erin Murphy each had five service aces. Murphy also added a career-high five blocks.

After the big win in the second set, Muhlenberg dropped the third set by two points, but pulled off a convincing 25-11 win in the fourth to take the match.

“I felt like in the second and fourth sets, when we won by a lot, it was because we had fewer unforced errors, kept the ball in play and kept better focus,” said Elkin.

Sophomore Holly Hyson led the Mules with 15 kills. Classmate Nikki Dickson had a double-double with 20 assists and 12 digs. Joining Dickson with double figures in digs were freshman Chelsea Kaser (16) and sophomore Alyssa Schell (11).

In the second match of the day, Muhlenberg held the Valiants to under 14 points in each set.

Freshman Vanessa Pulice led the offense with 16 assists. Grbelja posted a team-high eight kills.

Schell recorded 13 digs, the third time she has reached double figures in this category in four matches. She also added four service aces. Murphy had a match-best five aces, bringing her to a total of 10 on the day.

Kaser (above), who had 51 digs in the four matches, and classmate Sarah Weyhmuller, who hit a lofty .452 on the second day, were named to the all-tournament team.

After dropping their first match against Kean, the Mules finished the weekend with three straight wins. Muhlenberg has now won seven of its last nine matches.

“I think we were all pretty proud of each other at the end of this tournament,” added Elkin. “We were trying to work as a team and do our best. Coming out of this tournament, everyone can be confident because even when we are down a few players, we are still a pretty good team.”
Click here for box scores.
Click for complete stats: NYU-Poly match | Manhattanville match