Today: Jul 14, 2024

Owls lose in straight sets to Pace

PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer

The SCSU volleyball team has not fared well when playing a match in the beginning of the week.

The Owls were defeated for the third straight time to open a week of matches by Pace, 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-20), in a Northeast-10 Conference match at Pelz Gymnasium.

Pace (12-6) made quick work of the first set, scoring eight of the first 10 points to take an 8-2 lead. Southern would cut the lead to 13-8 after Lauren McVey had a kill, assisted to Kimberly Lachowicz. Pace then changed the momentum again with an 18-8 lead after a 6-0 run. Pace forced Southern into errors and tightened up their defense with kills by junior Tamilee White.

“I was happy with how well we played,” second year Pace head coach Karrin Moore said. “We had to keep our errors down and we did that. I’ve been happy with the team the majority of the time.”

Already down one set, Southern tightened in the second and third sets, going to sophomore Sarah Beres for some reassurance with five kills in each set and 12 for the match.

The Owls had their opportunity slip away in the second set. They led early on 5-1 after an ace by Megan Lyons. Pace cut the lead 8-7 after a kill by freshman Melanie Pavels, assisted by Shea Hansen. Southern would score four straight to take a 12-8 lead, before Pace called timeout. Pace tied the game at 20-20 with four straight points. Southern regained the lead before Pace grabbed a 24-22 lead and sealed the last point when Pavels hit a bullet for a kill right at McVey.

Southern played hard in the third with long rallies and good strategies. Kelsi Root and Whitney Hilton would step up their play, scoring six of seven-straight points, giving Pace a 12-9 lead. Southern tied the game at 13-13 after a good point that ended when Beres and Caelese Brown made a block at the net. Pace grabbed the lead for the last time at 15-14, tacking on with good patient play against Southern’s shots while forcing errors with their momentum.

“I think we are on the right track,” Webb said. “We encourage each other and I think that the team chemistry has been really important.”

The Owls have lost four consecutive meetings, defeating them last in 2008. Pace defeated Southern, 3-1, last October in a tight match at Pleasantville, N.Y. Whitney Hilton led Pace with a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs and Hansen had 45 assists. Megan Lyons led Southern with 10 kills and 12 digs, and Megan Hiss had 14 kills.

Pace continued a two-game winning streak, having won 13 of their last 15. Southern (14-6, 4-4) snapped a three-game winning streak, losing all six matches at home.

“We really lucked out with a string of games in a row after playing in San Antonio,” Moore said.

Southern recorded 32 total errors in the game to Pace’s 19. Pace led in kills, 43-39, and digs, 76-68. Southern led in attacks, 142-136.

Webb led Pace with 10 kills of 23 attacks and eight digs. Pavels had nine kills and 10 digs. Nora Rugova had eight kills and 13 digs. Hansen had 33 assists.

Lyons led Southern with a double-double of 11 kills on and 17 digs. Hiss had nine kills and 10 digs. Lachowicz had 33 assists.

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