Despite a phenomenal individual performance by junior
outside hitter Kaley Melville, the Stetson volleyball team finished on the short
end of a 3-2, five-set thriller against The Citadel Friday at the East Bay Deli
Invitational in Charleston, S.C.
Bulldogs (1-10) won by scores 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12. It was the Hatters (3-11) fourth defeat in a five-set
match this season.
Melville set a career-high with 25 kills and committed just one attack error
in 62 attempts, finishing with a .387 attack percentage. She came within six kills of the single-game school-record
which was set back in the side-out scoring era (Melissa Roy, 31 kills, 1996). Melville added 16 digs for her sixth
double-double of the season.
Senior libero Monique Russell picked up a career-high 32 digs, marking the
first time she has surpassed the illustrious 30-dig plateau in her career.
"Mel and Monique had career games, but they didn't get much help from anybody else," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "We are still not figuring out how to win these close matches and that concerns me."
After falling behind 1-0 in the match, the Hatters jumped out quickly in set
two, taking an early 5-1 lead. After a Citadel
timeout, the Bulldogs rattled off the next four points to tie the set 5-5. The Hatters answered back, extending the lead
to 13-9 and 17-13. The Citadel fought
back again, this time catching the Hatters at 20-20. Stetson poured on the offense late in the
set, receiving three kills from Melville and one each by Kelli Carneal and Ellen Hawks to
tie the match 1-1.
In set three in was The Citadel’s turn to take an early lead, as the
Bulldogs opened the frame on an 8-1 run.
The teams traded points through the middle of the set and the
Hatters still found themselves down 18-9 when they started a massive
rally. Stetson scored 12 of the next 15
points, including four on kills by Melville, to tie the set 21-21. However, a Bulldogs timeout slowed the
Hatters momentum and The Citadel was able to notch four of the final five
points to win the set and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Hatters had to rally again in set four as The Citadel built a late 20-17
lead. Stetson finished on a strong 8-1
run to force the decisive fifth set.
In the final frame with the score tied 6-6, The Citadel went on a mini 3-0 run spanning the
changeover to take a 9-6 lead. The
Bulldogs took three of the next five points to extend their advantage to
12-8. The Hatters put together one last
rally behind kills from Carneal, Melville, and Cailyn Prewitt to close the gap
to 13-12, but Stetson would pull no closer.
Hawks finished with 11 kills, Carneal collected nine kills, 27 assists, eight digs, and three blocks, and Kayla Weller dished out a season-high 24 assists.
Stetson’s 63 kills was a season-high.
The Hatters will wrap up the East Bay Deli Invitational with two matches on
Saturday. Stetson will face Charleston
Southern at 3 pm and Wofford at 5:30 pm.
Note: The last Hatter to record 25+ kills in a match was Rebecca Orzechowicz, 26 kills vs. South Florida on 9/15/06.