NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College Invitational started with a hard fought 3-2 (25-14, 25-27, 23-25, 25-19, 15-9) victory for Wheaton, as the host Lyons defeated the Emmanuel College Saints Friday night in Emerson Gymnasium. Wheaton went on to sweep the Maine Maritime Mariners, 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19), in match two of the night to remain undefeated in the tournament.
WHEATON 3 - EMMANUEL 2
Wheaton jumped out to a 10-5 lead during the opening set and maintained their momentum, stretching it to an 18-9 lead later on. Kills from sophomore Claire Cansler, sophomore Cathryn MacGregor and Cameron Mercer would help seal the first victory, 25-14.
The momentum would start to shift in the second set as Emmanuel put forth a three-point lead throughout most of the first half until Wheaton fought back to tie the set, 7-7. The Lyons wouldn't be able to grab hold of a lead as the team's battled neck in neck until the very end when they became tied once more, 25-25. The Saints went on to seal the 27-25 win off a service error and kill.
The Lyons claimed a big lead early in the fourth set, going up 13-3. Emmanuel rallied to respond and get within four points at 19-15, but Wheaton added attacks kills from MacGregor, Cansler and junior Allison Cox to win 25-19 and force a fifth set
By this point the momentum was all in Wheaton's favor. The Lyons scored five of the first eight points and hardly looked back as they closed out a 15-9 match-clinching victory.
MacGregor led the Lyons in kills during this match with 19, she also marked eight digs. Cansler was right behind her recording 13 kills and four digs. Junior Stephanie Martin posted a team best 17 digs while first-year Becca Houghton totaled 27 assists for the day to lead the Lyons.
WHEATON 3 - MAINE MARITIME 0
Wheaton (4-3) and Maine Maritime (2-1) began set one with a tough battle, tying the score multiple times before the Lyons finally had a break through halfway in. Tied 10-10, Wheaton utilized two attack errors and two services aces to gain the 14-11 lead. From there, Cansler, MacGregor and first-year Nikita Selivan provided kills that secured the 25-23 victory to start.
In set two, the Lyons jumped on board early, gaining the 6-1 lead thanks to four kills, a service ace and attack error from the Mariners. MacGregor and Cansler tied for most kills in the set at three apiece. First-year McKenna Milholland notched the win for Wheaton when she hit a service ace to end it, 25-19.
The Lyons carried all the momentum with them into the third and final set by dishing out an early 10-5 lead. The Mariners pulled within four points, but that wouldn't be enough as Wheaton added kills from Houghton, Milholland, Cansler and MacGregor to give them the go ahead 23-15 lead. Maine Maritime made a ball handling error that claimed Wheaton the 25-19 victory.
Wheaton competes in day two of the Wheaton Invitational on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Salem State and 3 p.m. against Plattsburgh State.
Wheaton vs. Emmanuel highlights (match one):
Wheaton vs. Maine Maritime highlights (match two):