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LIVONIA, Mich. — The second match in as many days against a ranked opponent proved to be too much for Marygrove women’s volleyball as the No. 9 Madonna University Crusaders dispatched a gritty Mustang squad in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, and 25-17) Saturday (Sept. 27) afternoon at the MU Activities Center. With the loss, the Mustangs drop to 4-12 overall and 1-7 in the WHAC, while Madonna celebrates win No. 20 on the season en route to lifting their WHAC mark to 8-0.
Saturday’s matinee matchup was the closest the Mustangs have come to taking a set from the perennial power Crusaders after being narrowly outdone in the first and second sets.
The Mustangs charged out of the gate in the first set, going toe-to-toe with the Crusaders behind five early kills each from freshman Hailey Brandes (Southgate, Mich./Anderson High School) and sophomore Ashley Murphy (Southfield, Mich./Livonia Clarenceville High School). The pair combined for 10 of the Mustangs’ 13 kills in the opening set. Madonan countered with a 16-kill effort to inch past the Mustangs and take the 1-0 lead in the match.
Third-year head coach Jamie Baker and the Mustangs bounced back to challenge the Crusaders again in the second frame behind a strong mid-set run. The Mustangs were able to get to within two, 24-22, before the Crusaders’ Casey Gates closed the set with a kill.
In third set, the Mustangs jumped out to a 4-2 lead before a 10-2 Madonna run put the Green & Gold in a 12-6 hole. From there, the host Crusaders cruised to sweep the Mustangs in what marked the opening weekend of the new, grueling WHAC schedule.
Murphy and Kiara Cobbs (Detroit, Mich./King High School) led the Mustangs with eight kills each. Brandes followed closely with seven, while Alixandria Pappas (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lakeview High School) added six kills. Kara Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft College) and Amber Kelly (Mt. Morris, Mich./Mt. Morris High School) were strong defensively with 20 and 14 digs, respectively.
Madonna was paced by Gates with a match-high 15 kills.
The Mustangs travel to Lawrence Tech Wednesday (Oct. 1) at 7 p.m. before returning home for three straight matches.
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ |Â @tjohnston56
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Category: Women's Volleyball