August 25, 2012

Citadel Volleyball Closes Out Tough Weekend against UNLV, CSU Bakersfield

LAS VEGAS - The Citadel volleyball team completed its first weekend of play on Saturday with a pair setbacks at the UNLV Tournament. The Bulldogs were tripped up by the host Rebels in the afternoon by scores of 25-15, 25-9 and 25-15. In the evening session, The Citadel suffered a loss to CSU Bakersfield by scores of 26-24, 25-18 and 25-13.

The Citadel vs. UNLV, 3-0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-15)

The Citadel opened play on Saturday against tournament host UNLV, who emerged with a three-set victory by scores of 25-15, 25-9 and 25-15. The Bulldogs were keyed by the play of Ise d'Angelo and Jessica Maxwell, who finished six kills apiece. Freshman Mikaela Tracy also had a solid outing for the Dogs with a team-high 18 assists and 11 digs.

The Rebels, who finished with a .394 attack percentage, were sparked by a double-double from Daryn Glenn (17 kills, 14 digs) and an 11-kill performance by Madeline Westman. Allison Davies highlighted the UNLV defense with 25 digs, while Westman assisted on six front row blocks.

A pair of kills by d'Angelo and Rachael Farrell gave The Citadel an early 4-3 advantage in the opening set. UNLV retaliated and battled through four ties before assuming an 8-7 lead on a block by Westman and Ceannia Kincade. Outscoring the Cadets 9-4, the Rebels Kinsey Caldwell would hold serve and force consecutive attack errors to stretch the lead to 17-11. Two kills by Farrell and one each by Tracy and Maxwell were not enough as UNLV completed the 25-15 win.

The Rebels' momentum from the end of the first set carried over into the second as they quickly established a 14-3 lead. The Citadel took advantage of kills by Maxwell and Hurt, but was unable to overcome five unforced errors and four straight kills by Kaitlin Winters. The Bulldogs found offense found its rhythm with kills by Tracy, Maxwell, d'Angelo and Farrell, keeping within striking distance at 16-8. Behind Westman's three kills, UNLV put together a 9-1 run over the remainder of the set to complete the 25-9 victory.

With a 2-0 lead in the match, the Rebels ran out to a 10-3 lead in the third set. The Citadel answered with kills by Hurt and d'Angelo and took advantage of a service ace by Farrell to cut the lead to two points. Trailing by four, following d'Angelo's second kill of the set, an attack error by Winters trimmed the score to 14-11. The Rebels countered with four straight kills and brought the lead back to seven at 18-11. The Dogs managed just four points over the remainder of the set as UNLV captured the 25-15 win.

The Citadel vs. CSU Bakersfield, 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-13)

Sophomore Ise d'Angelo capped off her solid showing at the UNLV Tournament with nine kills and nine digs against CSU Bakersfield. Meanwhile, Rachael Farrell finished with six kills, four digs and was one of three Bulldogs with three assisted blocks in the tough 26-24, 25-18, 25-13 loss to the Roadrunners.

Shayna Guitare's nine kills led a well balanced CSU Bakersfield attack. Guitare was joined by Kelsee Sawyer (eight kills), Debora Araujo (seven kills) and Julia Bowen (seven kills) on a front row that tallied 37 kills. Araujo and Mariah Alvidrez added eight digs for the Roadrunners, who earned their first victory of the season.

Senior Jessica Maxwell sparked the Dogs in the early going of the first set, forcing a pair of attack errors by CSU Bakersfield to establish an early 3-1 lead. The Roadrunners quickly responded with a 12-1 run, halted when Maxwell drove home a kill on a pass from Mikaela Tracy. Tracy kept the momentum going in serve when she forced back-to-back attack errors to pull the Dogs within 13-10 of the lead. The Citadel eventually regained the lead on a series of service points by Erin Bucherl, 16-15, before CSU Bakersfield drew even. The set reached a climatic 24-24 tie on an unforced error by CSUB's Lisa Bartsch. That was followed by a Sawyer kill and a Bowen service ace for the final points of a 26-24 win.

The opening stages of the second set was a similar back-and-forth battle, as the two squads endured six ties in the first 20 points before reaching a score of 10-10. Fernanda Goncalves found Araujo, who drove a kill past the Dogs defense for the slim one-point advantage, to give the Roadrunners a lead they did not relinquish. Holding to a 14-11 lead, Araujo was responsible for the next five points in serve to provide an eight-point cushion, 19-11. Maxwell answered for The Citadel by forcing a pair of attack errors by Sawyer and Guitare, but a stretch of three straight points by CSUB pushed the lead to 23-15. Despite a kill by d'Angelo and a service ace from Farrell, The Citadel suffered the 25-18 setback.

CSU Bakersfield took advantage of five points from Bowen and three from Araujo to open up a 10-3 lead in the third set. The Citadel countered with a pair of kills by d'Angelo and Farrell, making for an 11-5 score, but the Roadrunners regained the momentum and scored 10 of the sets next 18 points to assume the 21-13 lead. CSUB closed out the match by notching four consecutive points to complete the 25-13 victory. 

The Citadel returns to McAlister Field House on Tuesday night when the team hosts the traditional Blue-White scrimmage at 6 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet-and-greet with the players, while enjoying a three-set intrasquad match. Players will be available for autographs and fans will have the opportunity to enjoy food with members of the Bulldogs volleyball team.

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