Playing its third match in a 24-hour span, the Stetson volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Rutgers Saturday morning on the final day of the Spartan Classic. The Scarlet Knights (9-1) won by scores of 25-19, 25-16, 25-15.
The Hatters (3-9) collected five aces in the match, but committed 26 attack errors and hit just -.019.
"Rutgers played well, they have a good team, they are well coached, and they executed better than we did today," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "But what I was disappointed with was our unforced errors, not just attacking but blocking, ball handling, and some mental errors that didn't show up in the box score."
Set one was a tight battle early on, with the score tied at the 7, 8, 10, and 11 point marks. A 5-0 run by the Scarlet Knights put Rutgers in the driver's seat for the set, though Stetson did trim the lead to three at 18-15 and later at 22-19.
In set two, the Hatters held an early 2-0 advantage, but Rutgers used a 7-1 spurt to grab the lead. Back-to-back points by Stetson cut deficit to 7-5, but the Hatters would get no closer the rest of the set.
The Scarlet Knights opened the third set on a 7-0 run to take control of the game. Stetson responded with its best run of the match, scoring eight of the next 11 points, to cut the lead to 10-8. During that stretch the Hatters received two aces from Monique Russell, two kills from Morgan Pautsch, and a kill each from Kaley Melville and Catherine Coston.
But Rutgers answered back with a 10-1 run of their own and went on to complete the 3-0 victory.
Melville led Stetson with six kills, while Kelli Carneal and Pautsch added four kills apiece. Russell collected 13 digs and four aces, and Ellen Hawks picked up a pair of blocks. Pautsch posted a .273 attack percentage.
"Morgan Pautsch had a good day, but that was about the only real highlight we had," Loesch said.
Rutgers, a member of the Big East Conference, hit .243 for the match. It was the first volleyball meeting between the two schools.
Stetson will return home to face Florida Atlantic at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. The Owls defeated the Hatters in five sets back on Aug. 31.
Update: Kaley Melville was named to the Spartan Classic all-tournament team