YORK Pa. The Spartans (12-6) had to gear up for day two of the Spartan Invitational with a noon match against a dangerous Moravian squad and a late afternoon match against the undefeated Stevenson squad. The Spartans went 0-2 on the day, but fought well throughout as they finished the tournament 1-3.
In the first match of the day, the Spartans played a five-set heartbreaker against Moravian. The Spartans dropped the match by scores of 8-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 15-9.
The first set was all Spartans as every aspect of their game seemed to be tuned in for dominating play with their 25-8 victory. The Spartans worked off a Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) 6-0 service run that caused the disoriented Greyhounds to take two timeouts. Alison Dorsey (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) seemed to be a one women show with multiple blocks, kills, and two aces.
The second set was full of intense back and forth action that featured multiple lead changes and ties. The Spartans battled to the end with Emma Geisser (Rockville, Md./Magruder) diving save. The Greyhounds eventually sealed the deal with a five-point second set win.
The third set was the Spartans turn to take a close set. The team surged with their defensive package constantly picking up key digs. Cassie Miller (Odenton, Md./Arundel) helped lead the effort with an ace to allow York to take the lead 17-2. The Spartans never relinquished the lead and took the third set 25-20 off an Allie Donahue (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) block.
The fourth set was another tough battle for the Spartans as they fought with Moravian for every point. Hicks helped the Spartans tie up the score at 15 with a deadly kill but the Spartans could not take control and dropped the fourth set 25-20 to the Greyhounds.
In the fifth set it looked as though the Spartans were back to their first set form with a 3-0 run from Donahue, who served up a sweet ace. The Spartans took a 6-2 lead after sophomore Dorsey tricked the Greyhounds with a little tip. After the rotation the Greyhounds went on a 9-1 run to end the thriller. The Spartans fell to 1-2 on the tournament as Moravian rose to 2-1 at the Spartan Invitational.
Freshman Ijeoma Igwe (Windsor Mill, Md./Seton Keough) led the Spartans with a match-high 16 kills as she hit .314 in the match. Katie Huston (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) and Amanda Mackey (Whiteford, Md./North Harford) added six kills each. Donahue had 38 assists and 14 digs while Katie Graziano (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) led York with a match-high 25 digs.
In their second match of the day the Spartans faced the undefeated and 22nd ranked Mustangs of Stevenson. The Spartans were swept in three straight sets, but were all well fought as the Mustangs posted a 25-20, 25-13, 25-20 victory.
In the first set Brittany Hicks helped push the team to on a 4-2 run to take the early lead. Huston added a powerful kill that seemed to stun the Mustangs and the Spartans were able to take the early 9-4 lead. After some close back and forth action Stevenson powered ahead to take a 17-14 lead. York kept it close but dropped the first set 20-25.
The second set featured very close action in the beginning. York worked hard with Mackey coming up big on kills. Geisser helped York tie the lead up at 11 but then the Stevenson blockers proved to be too much and the Mustangs went on 14-2 run. York pushed hard but fell 25-13 in set two.
The third set showed off more tough battles between the two teams. Huston helped York keep the set tied at 5-5 with a kill that had some terrifying spin as it flew over the net. Hicks showed off her calm demeanor with a key block that helped York cut a Stevenson charge down one with the set at 15-14. Freshman Karli Hawxhurst (Prince Frederick, Md./Calvert) came in for some key digs but the Spartans just didn't have enough and fell in the third set 25-20.
The Spartans were led by Igwe as she notched seven kills while Mackey led five kills of her own. Donahue had 20 assists while Graziano recorded 17 digs.
The Spartans will look to return to their winning ways this week as they visit Mary Washington on Wednesday night in the Capital Athletic Conference opener for both squads. The match is started for a 7:00 pm start in Fredericksburg, VA.
Written by Nate Caruso – Asst. Director of Athletic Communications