Purchase, N.Y. – Freshman middle hitter Megan Gritz (Milford, Conn.) and junior outside hitter Amber Cohens (Hamden, Conn.) each registered 13 kills apiece to lead the Albertus Magnus College women's volleyball past host Purchase, 3-0, on Wednesday evening in non-conference action. With the 25-21, 26-24, 25-17 victory, the Falcons snapped a five-match losing streak to improve to 3-12 overall, while the Panthers dropped to 0-15 with the setback.
Albertus Magnus opened in the first set on a 5-2 run capped by a kill from Gritz, but the Panthers tied it 5-all and recaptured the lead, 8-6. The two clubs would be tied at 10-10 and 12-12 before the visitors pushed the lead to 18-12 following a Purchase attack error. That's when the hosts called a timeout and setter Alex Lally closed the gap on her serve, 18-17. However, the Falcons responded with another run, going back up 22-19 and prompting another timeout from the hosts. This time, Magnus closed the set, winning three of the next five points as a Cohens kill gave AMC a 1-0 lead.
The see-saw battle continued in the second set. Purchase leapt out to an early 13-10 margin, but the visitors rallied to score six straight points and grab a 17-14 lead after an ace from Cohens. Purchase showed its poise and no-quit attitude, tying the match at 17-all before taking a 20-18 lead. The Panthers maintained the momentum and built their lead to three at 23-20 and shortly later 24-21 in the second set. The Falcons answered again, striking for three straight to make the score 24-24 thanks to back-to-back kills from Cohens. Another Cohens kill gave the visitors a one-point lead and an ace from senior Ramona Onofrio (East Haven, Conn.) gave Albertus Magnus a commanding, 2-0, edge.
In the third set after the two teams opened with another back-and-forth rally that was tied at four, the Falcons reeled off five straight points for a 9-4 advantage. That lead would stay around five to six points throughout. The Panthers once again showed their mettle, closing within 19-13. But the Falcons were too strong. Magnus added two more points for a 21-13 score and another timeout from the hosts before the Falcons won four of the next eight points, holding off another Panther push to close the set 25-17 and the match in three.
The Falcons were paced by Megan Gritz and Amber Cohens, who shared the match-high of 13 kills. Albertus Magnus sophomore setter Marielis Muriel (New Haven, Conn.) handed out a match and career-high 27 assists. Gritz led the team defensively with 10 digs.
Purchase was led by Julia Chirlin and Lally. Chirlin recored a team-high seven kills, while Lally added five and a team-high 16 assists. Fellow starters Lillian Dixon, Brianna Saunders, Jade Hackett and Danielle Holmes also played well, as did reeserve Cynthia Plackis.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, October 17, with a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match with Rivier and Norwich. The Falcons will square off with the Raiders at 2:00 p.m. and the host Cadets at 4:00 p.m.