Daytona Beach, Fla. - The Stetson volleyball team (2-6) came up on the short end twice to open the Holiday Inn Resort Invitational on Friday, hosted by Volusia County rival Bethune-Cookman. The Hatters fell 25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25 to Hampton in the early afternoon before dropping a perfectly symmetrical 25-18, 25-18, 25-18 decision to Samford in the evening. Junior setter Kelli Carneal (Fredericksburg, Va.) paced the Hatters with 48 assists, 18 digs and eight kills on the day.
HAMPTON 3, STETSON 1
Poor hitting (.106 percentage, 26 attack errors) and serving (12 service errors) cost the Hatters dearly against the Lady Pirates, although Stetson did manage to nearly even up their service error total with 11 aces. Sophomore outside hitter Kaley Melville (New Germany, Minn.) led the way with 16 kills and 15 digs while Carneal put up a 32-assist, 10-dig double-double of her own. Pacing the defense was junior libero Monique Russell (Phoenix, Ariz.) with 17 digs while senior outside hitter Kaylee Ream (Venice, Fla.) finished with 14 digs and sophomore middle blocker Ellen Hawks (Austin, Texas) notched six blocks.
Krista Kraskura (20 kills, 24 digs), Ioana Kalfinova (12 kills), Lihi Elkayam (30 assists, 11 digs), Sheileen Pagan (19 digs) and Mianna Armstrong (14 digs) put up the strongest stat lines for Hampton, which improved to 2-5 on the season with its victory.
SAMFORD 3, STETSON 0
Samford, which came into the match with a 10-1 record that included victories over the likes of Alabama and Georgia Tech, made short work of the Hatters in the nightcap to move to 11-1. The Bulldogs out-hit Stetson .333 to .122 with nearly double (46-25) the amount of kills as the Hatters.
Carneal finished with 16 assists, eight digs and five kills to lead Stetson statistically; no Hatter put up more than five kills in the match. Russell collected a team-high 11 digs. Leading the way for Samford were Elizabeth Heisler (12 kills), Katie Murphy (10 kills), Lauren Hutchinson (10 kills), Casey Garvey (35 assists) and Alexis Bauer (13 digs).
Stetson completes the Holiday Inn Resort Invitational tomorrow with a 4:00 pm matchup with Florida Atlantic at Moore Gymnasium.
FACEBOOK - Stetson Hatters (facebook.com/stetsonhatters); TWITTER - @StetsonSID; YOUTUBE - StetsonHatters