Volleyball comes out on top at JWU Invite

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-Senior libero Samantha Marmolejo was named tournament MVP and sophomore setter Maggie Hine was named to the All-Tournament Team as the Coast Guard volleyball team won the Johnson & Wales Invitational on Saturday.

With the victories, Coast Guard (14-5) has now won four in a row and eight of their last ten matches.

CGA 3, Emerson 1

In the opener, sophomore Ashley Dumont recorded eight kills on a .438 hitting percentage to lead the Bears to a four set victory over Emerson (12-8).

Coast Guard won a pair of hotly contested sets (25-21, 25-19) to open the match, before falling in set number three 16-25. They would ultimately win the fourth set 25-22 to avoid a fifth set tie breaker.

Hine recorded 29 assists to help direct a balanced Coast Guard attack that saw five players record four or more kills led by senior Kelsey DePorto who had nine. In addition to DePorto and Dumont, freshmen Susan West and Rebekah Muller and sophomore Kelsey Hickle recorded seven, five, and four, respectively.

Three different Bears registered double-figures in digs led by Marmolejo's 13, while Hickle and Muller each added 12.

CGA 3, Western Connecticut 2

In the championship match, Coast Guard won a five-set thriller against Western Connecticut (16-4) to claim the title at the Johnson & Wales Invitational.

DePorto had 18 kills, attacking at .312 while West added 16 kills and attacked at .324 to lead the Bears offensively. Hine had another tremendous all-around game, totaling six kills and recording a double-double with 41 assists and 20 digs.

Marmolejo led the club in digs with 30 while freshman Michaela McKeown and Hickle added 11 and 13, respectively. Hickle and DePorto each added a pair of service aces in the Coast Guard victory.

After dropping the first set 14-25, Coast Guard rebounded to take the next two in convincing fashion, 25-16 and 25-17. Western Connecticut would bounce back in the fourth as the Bears fell 17-25, but Coast Guard would rebound to win 15-10 in the fifth set to drop the Colonials.

With the victory, Coast Guard improves to 3-1 in matches that go five sets, while Western Connecticut falls to 2-2 in such matches.

Head coach Aylene Ilkson had nothing but praise for the effort of her charges, saying, "From the start of the tournament to the end, it was a complete team effort. In the final match, we really battled against a very talented Western Connecticut State University team. Susan West with 16 kills and Kelsey DePorto with 18 kills were both tremendous along with the tournament MVP Sam Marmolejo, who was outstanding the entire weekend. We hope to use this momentum as we head into the next half of our season."

Coast Guard returns to action on Tuesday, October 8th when they host Mount Holyoke in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference match-up at 7:00 pm.

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