STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (16-8, 6-4 GNAC) overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat University of Maine-Farmington (11-9, 3-2 NAC), 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-5), in non-conference volleyball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Wednesday evening. Emilee Penman '15 (Uncasville, Conn.) paced the Monks with a match and career-high 17 kills in the victory.
St. Joe's never trailed in the first set as the Royal Blue held off the Beavers' late comeback bid to secure a 25-22 win. The second set proved to be a struggle featuring 12 tie scores and five lead changes with the visitors eventually coming out on top by a 25-21 margin.
The momentum continued to sway in the Beavers' favor in the third set as the visitors began play with a 10-3 run. SJC Head Coach Yami Nolan called a timeout to help her team regroup and the wisdom conveyed seemed to work, as the Royal Blue responded with a 9-3 outburst to make the score 13-12. The Beavers managed to hold off the Monks, however, and notched a 25-22 win and a 2-1 edge overall.
Saint Joseph's proceeded to win the fourth set and tie the match at two-all with the help of the attack efforts posted by Penman and Brooke Dyer '14 (Lebanon, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas), as the pair combined to tally nine kills in a 25-16 triumph. With the set tied at 10-apiece, the Monks mounted a 15-6 run – with seven kills from Penman and Dyer - to close out play and force a fifth set.
The surge may have taken the life out of the Beavers as the Monks controlled the final set and strolled to a 15-5 win to secure the 3-2 victory. Tied 3-3 in the early going, Saint Joseph's rattled off eight consecutive points to take an 11-3 advantage. The hosts won the set and the match six serves later when Dyer put an exclamation point on the night with a kill off a Jordan Pelczar '12 (Meredith, N.H.) pass.
For the Monks, Dyer had 13 kills and 16 digs, Kiah Begley '13 (Berwick, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas) recorded 37 assists, 12 digs and five kills, Pelczar boasted a career-best 33 digs, and Holly Bannister '14 (Cumberland, Maine) added eight kills. Kristin Palladino '14 (Exeter, N.H.) chipped in with 12 digs, six kills and four service aces in the triumph.
For the Beavers, Shannon Mitchell '12 (Portsmouth, N.H.) produced nine kills, 13 digs and five solo blocks, Amanda Mullane '12 (Melrose, Mass.) netted eight kills and eight digs, Marina Tello 15 (San Antonio, Texas) added 25 digs and four kills, and Bridget Flaherty '14 (Plymouth, Mass.) contributed 12 digs and 14 assists in a losing effort.
Saint Joseph's held advantages in kills (56-36), assists (48-29), aces (11-9), and digs (93-84) on the night while Maine-Farmington posted a 9-4 edge in total blocks.
The Monks have now defeated the Beavers in seven consecutive meetings.
Saint Joseph's will host Saint Joseph (Conn.) (7-16, 2-7 GNAC) and Norwich University (11-9, 5-5 GNAC) in an important conference tri-match on Saturday. St. Joe's faces Saint Joseph (Conn.) at 2:00 PM and Norwich at 6:00 PM. The Blue Jays and Cadets face off in the sandwich match at 4:00 PM.
Maine-Farmington will travel to Vermont for a North Atlantic Conference tri against Green Mountain and Castleton State.