ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (September 23, 2017) – Trailing by two sets to open the match, the Rollins volleyball team battled back to defeat the Eckerd College Tritons in a thrilling five set victory on Saturday evening in the McArthur Center. The 3-2 (10-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-13) win marks the first time since 2014 that the Tars have earned a come-from-behind victory on the road after trailing by two sets.
With the win, the Tars pick up their first Sunshine State Conference victory of the season, and advance to a record of 2-6, and 1-3 in SSC action. The Tritons, who have now lost their second straight, drop to a mark of 4-2, and 0-2 in conference play.
The victory snaps a five game skid for the Tars, who have matched up against five nationally-ranked teams in eight total matches this season. Leading the way in kills on the night was senior Shannon McDonough, with 19, while Bri Civiero notched a double-digit kill count with 16. McDonough earned her second-straight double-double, adding 12 digs to her stat line on the night. Also notching her second-straight double-double was Cassidy Cason with 41 assists and 11 digs. Cason's 41 assists mark a season second best behind her 48 assist performance in the Tars' season opener against No. 13 Wayne State. Cason also led the team in service aces with three, as Rollins earned a total of eight total aces on the evening. Rachel Fletcher earned a team high 17 digs, followed by McDonough with 12, and Cason with 11. At the net, Mary Bethany Vincent earned a team high five blocks, followed by Kerra Tirado with four, Civiero with three, and Cason and Madison Jenkins with two apiece.
Eckerd saw a match best 23 kills from Paula Hoffman, followed by Madison Whiting with 10. Fernandina Reis earned a match best 47 assists, and matched her teammates Arielle Erillo and Kaitlyn Sibson with a team high three service aces apiece. Sibson led the team in digs with 26, while Stephanie Karlovics led the Tritons in blocks with five total.
COACH ROBINSON'S THOUGHTS:
"I am incredibly proud of the heart and fight we showed in this match. With our backs against the wall down 0-2 on the road, we played some of the best volleyball we have played this season in set three, and I was very pleased with our relentlessness in set five."
- The Tars bested their opponent in hitting percentage on the night, .212 to .206, and Eckerd notched 61 kills compared to the Tars' 48, but the deciding factor in the match was attack errors, as Rollins had 19 while the Tritons were plagued by 28 on the day.
- The last time Rollins earned a comeback victory after trailing by two sets on the road was on September 20, 2014, when they fought back to take down Barry by a final score of 3-2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-23, 25-21, 20-18)
- Both Shannon McDonough and Cassidy Cason earned double-doubles on the evening.
- McDonough notched a double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs, marking her second straight and fourth of the season.
- Cason earned a double-double with 41 assists and 11 digs, marking her second straight and third total of the season.
- McDonough's 19 kills marks a season high after three straight matches with 16 kills each.
- Cason's 41 assists mark a season second best behind her 48 assist performance in the Tars' season opener against No. 13 Wayne State.
- Vincent's five blocks match a season second best, which she first posted on Sep. 15 against Florida Tech.
- Set One: Eckerd jumped out to a 5-1 lead and never looked back, claiming the first set by a final score of 25-10 to take a 1-0 match lead.
- Set Two: Set two saw more action, and the Tars knotted the score late in the game at 22-22 thanks to a solo block by Vincent. Despite the Tars' best defensive efforts, Eckerd tallied three straight to close out the second set by a final score of 25-22.
- Set Three: Rollins came out of the break with a new game plan, and ran out to a quick 7-1 lead in the third set. The Tars extended their lead to 11, 17-6, and never looked back as they earned their first set victory of the night with a score of 25-15 to trail Eckerd in the match, 2-1.
- Set Four: Eckerd opened up the fourth set with three straight points, but the Tars fought back, scoring five straight to knot the scoreboard at 8-8 off of a service ace by Jaime Becker. After back-and-forth scoring action, the Tars took their first lead of the set on a service ace by Rebecca Wilson to give the Tars the 17-16 edge, and added to their lead on a kill by Kerra Tirado to set the score at 18-16. Rollins outscored the Tritons, 7-4 in the remainder of the set to give the Tars the 25-20 win in the fourth set to send the match into a fifth and final frame.
- Set Five: The decisive set saw the score tied five times, but only saw one lead change once. The Tritons pulled out to a quick 3-1 lead, but Rollins bounced back to knot the score at 3-3 off of a kill by Civiero. Eckerd tallied three straight to extend their advantage to 6-3, and outscored the Tars in the following plays, 2-1 to take an 8-4 lead. Rollins answered back to outscore Eckerd in the following plays, 5-1, to tie the set at 9-9, and then took the lead on a service ace b Tirado to set the score at 10-9. Eckerd pulled even at 10-10 thanks to a kill by Paula Hoffman, but Rollins pulled back out into the lead on a kill by McDonough off of a Cason assist. Eckerd punched right back with another kill by Hoffman to set the scoreboard at 11-11, but it proved to be the final time the set would be even. The Tars took the 12-11 lead off of a kill by McDonough and never looked back, outscoring Eckerd 3-2 in the final plays to close out the fifth and decisive set by a final score of 15-13.
- Date: Tuesday | September 26, 2017
- Opponent: Embry-Riddle
- Location: Warden Arena | Winter Park, Fla.
- Time: 7:00 p.m.
- Coverage: LIVE STATS | VIDEO
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