Junior Melissa Manning (Milford, Conn.) recorded 13 kills along with 13 digs to lead the Albertus Magnus women's volleyball team to a 3-2 victory at Elms College on Friday afternoon. For the first time in their nine-year history, the Falcons picked up a victory in their season-opener.
Manning hit .265 in the match as the Falcons opened 2012 with a 25-19 victory. Elms battled back in the second and third sets as the Blazers earned back-to-back two-point victories. In the second set of the match, Elms recorded 13 kills, while the Falcons had only five with nine hitting errors. Elms won that set 27-25 after nine lead changes and 14 ties.
Elms won the third set 28-26 as the Blazers held the Falcons to just nine kills in 51 tries. Albertus picked up a 25-21 win in the fourth set by using 17 kills in 37 attempts to lead the way. Maritza Rosemond (New Haven, Conn.) recorded six kills in nine tries during the set to give the Falcons an offensive boost.
Albertus battled in the fifth set, eventually taking the contest 16-14. The Blazers took an early 4-3 lead in the final set before the Falcons called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Elms extended its lead to 8-4 before the Falcons tied the set at 8-8. After the score became knotted at 10, two Elms' errors and a Kelsey Pendagast (Shelton, Conn.) kill put the Falcons in the lead 13-10 but unforced Falcon errors allowed the Blazers to tie the set back up at 13-all.
After knotting the score at 14, the Falcons' Leanna Velez (Waterbury, Conn.) tallied her lone kill of the set to give Albertus the lead. Manning followed with her 13th kill of the match as Elms' Erika Murphy recorded a blocking error to end the contest.
Rosemond finished the afternoon with 34 assists, 15 digs and seven kills, while Pendagast added six kills and three solo blocks. Krista LaBissoniere (Meriden, Conn.) tallied an impressive 39 digs for the Falcons as Velez recorded 22.
Today's match between the Blazers and Falcons marked the second-straight meeting for the programs that was ultimately decided in five sets.