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October 18, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 6

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SU competes in California, loses three straight

Susquehanna women's volleyball faltered in their streak of success this week after falling to Pomona-Pitzer, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Whittier in straight sets, respectively, on a West-Coast swing this past weekend.
After traveling to the West Coast, the Crusaders played the Pomona Sagehens. Susquehanna was initially led by freshman right setter Erin Byrne, who took charge with 13 kills and five digs, followed by 14 digs from sophomore defensive specialist, Sarah Paluck, and a whopping 30 assists and seven digs from freshman setter Maggie O'Hearn.
Sophomore right setter Kady Faller also chipped in seven more kills, but it still wasn't enough to give Susquehanna the boost it needed.
In the opening set, the Crusaders were down only by one (4-3), but that quickly turned to 10 (20-10), and a gap that they just couldn't close in time.
Pomona-Pitzer decisively ended the game with a lead of three points and continued to overpower the Crusaders consistently until the third and final set. Byrne sparked up a lead yet again with a kill, followed by a service ace from sophomore outside hitter Morgan Whiteman.
But despite their best efforts, Susquehanna lost control of the play to the Sagehens, who wrapped up the set with a five-point advantage.
Susquehanna's performance against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps told a similar story.
Junior middle hitter Hayley Dunkel offered an optimistic start to the set with 12 kills, while Byrne threw in an additional eight digs and 12 more kills. Dunkel and Byrne weren't the only Crusaders to get involved. Freshman defensive specialist Alyssa Chiodo had 11 digs, while O'Hearn followed suit with 11 digs and 34 assists.
However, the Crusaders' efforts wasn't quite enough, as they fell 25-20 to Claremont in the first set, and consecutively succumbing to defeat to the Athenas in the final two sets, 25-23 and 25-19, respectively.
The loss to Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cast a pall over the Crusaders' performance against the Whittier Poets as well, leaving the team without a win on their California adventure.
The Crusaders faltered against the Poets after leading early.
Led by nine kills from Whiteman, and seven from Byrne, O'Hearn contributed 23 assists and 10 digs. Paluck shelled out 27 digs, but it wasn't enough to counter Whittier's 25-14 win of the first set, which was a sign of things to come.
Though Susquehanna put up a good fight, Whittier snatched the second set away with a 25-19 win, and lastly, a narrow win of 35-33 in the third and final set.
The Crusaders started out strong in the third set with a six-point lead, but the Poets retaliated to tie it at 24 late in the action. Whittier landed the final two blows despite the Crusaders' best attempts to keep them out, stealing the lead and earning the victory.
Susquehanna will hit the court once more this weekend for the second Landmark Conference round-robin tournament of the season.
Catholic will host the tournament after Merchant Marine was scheduled to host the tournament before the government shutdown went into effect.

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