DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson volleyball team dropped to 9-16 overall and 2-9 in Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-23 loss to visiting Mercer (11-18, 4-8 A-Sun) Saturday afternoon at the Edmunds Center. The match was Stetson's home finale for 2011 and served as senior day for upperclasswomen Sam Freeman (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Kaylee Ream (Venice, Fla.).
Stetson scraped out the first set 25-23, but relentless attacks and the high blocking wall of the Bears proved insurmountable the rest of the way. After dropping the second set 25-13, the Hatters fought back somewhat to within 25-19 and 25-23 in the final set but could not come all the way back to force a fifth and final stanza.
Ream, sophomore middle blocker Ellen Hawks (Austin, Texas) and sophomore outside hitter Kaley Melville (New Germany, Minn.) tied for the team lead with 12 kills apiece; Melville added 10 digs for a double-double while Ream had eight. Junior setter Kelli Carneal (Fredericksburg, Va.) finished with 36 assists, six digs and four kills while junior libero Monique Russell (Phoenix, Ariz.) led Stetson defensively with 20 digs.
Four Mercer Bears reached double figures in kills, led by Amiee Frutchey with a 16-kill, 16-dig double-double. Charlayna Braxton finished with 12 kills while Anna Coursey (10 kills, five blocks) and Jennifer Katona (10 kills, six blocks) were an intimidating presence at the net as well. Monica Sanchez handed out 44 assists with nine digs; Charlotte Harris (22 digs) and Emily Rochefort (13 digs) led the Bears on defense.
Ream tied Rebecca Orzechowicz '09 and Tanya Roe '97 for second in career matches played at Stetson with her 106th appearance today while tying Gina Iacona '08 for fourth in sets played (371).
Russell increased her career dig total to 914, passing Karla Readshaw '08 for 10th in school history in that category as well; with 352 digs this season her total is 10th highest in program history. She and career record holder Melissa Roy '98 are the only Stetson volleyball players to have two seasons with 350 or more digs (Russell had 445 digs in 2010).
The Hatters wrap up the 2011 regular season next weekend in the River City, taking on Jacksonville at 7:00 pm Friday and North Florida at 3:00 pm Saturday. Live Stats, if available, will be linked to at GoHatters.com; check ASun.TV for broadcast availability.
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