After having a 1-2 record over fall break in the Crossroads League, the Goshen College volleyball team got a five-set win over Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Tuesday night.The Goshen College volleyball team stopped the Cougars’ seven match winning streak on Tuesday night in a 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 25-12, 24-26, 11-15) Crossroads League win at the Ariel Arena. The Cougars started with 2-1 lead in the match, but the Maple Leafs rallied to win the last two sets to claim the match and maintain the possibility of Goshen being able to host a first-round, conference-tournament match.
Kayla Riportella, a junior player from Des Plaines, Ill., showed her enthusiasm after the win against Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
“The match was an exciting one; we fought our way through even when we were down,” she said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match, but we knew it was one we needed to win.”
The first two sets were dominated by kills–the Cougars had 19 points from kills in the first set, before Goshen leveled the match with 17 kills in the second set.
With the match tied at 1-1, it appeared MVNU had turned the tide with a dominating third set to reclaim the advantage 2-1. In a 10-10 tie midway through the set, the Cougars exploded for a 15-2 run to earn a 25-12 win.
With their backs against the wall, the Maple Leafs responded with a strong fourth set to tie the match again at 2-2. In the fourth set, the score was tied at 22, 23 and 24, but back to back errors by the Cougars proved to be the final two points and in turn led to a 26-24 win for Goshen.
In the deciding set, the Maple Leafs showed their strong attack, and they had six kills in the 15-11 win.
“The game was essential for us to win because it helped us secure our standing in the conference,” Riportella said.
Goshen had three players with 13 or more kills Tuesday night, led by Jaime Stack, a senior, with 17. Melanie Meyer, a senior, followed with 14 kills and Sam Heberling, a senior, closed the contest with 13 kills. Lisa Rodriguez, a first-year, had a match high 36 assists and Missy Mackowiak, a senior, came up with 31 digs and 38 receptions.
Goshen College is now 12-11 overall and 6-8 in conference.
“The season, overall, has been interesting, we started out a bit slower in the conference than we wanted to, but I believe that what matters is where we finish out, and right now that is what we’re working to accomplish,” Riportella said.
The Maple Leafs will be playing a tournament this coming weekend. The Leafs will play in Grand Rapids, Mich., where they will face Cornerstone University, Aquinas College, Rochester College and Lawrence Tech on Saturday.