BUENA VISTA, Va. - Marymount women's volleyball freshman Alexa Marcum totaled a team-high 14 kills and a .324 hitting percentage, but after losing the first set, Southern Virginia rallied to win the next three-straight en route to a 12-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 win the first round of the CAC Volleyball Championship Tuesday.
The Saints (14-14) will now await to see if they are selected for the 2017 ECAC Division III Women's Volleyball Championship which begins on Wednesday, November 8. Marymount, who has appeared in the last four ECAC tournaments, advanced to the semifinals a year ago after championship appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Marcum had 10 or more kills for the fifth time in the last seven matches, including a career-high 17 against Lebanon Valley on Saturday. Freshman Mykael Johnson added 10 kills, marking her fifth match in the last seven with at least 10.
Marcum and Johnson combined for 24 of the team's 43 kills and over the last seven matches have totaled 160 kills, an average of 22.9 per match. During that time, the duo has led the team in kills three times, including each of the last two.
Sophomore Theresa Buscemi finished with 22 digs, the seventh time this season she has had at least 20. Freshman Myah Cordrey had five total blocks while Johnson added four and junior Ashton Walker had three.
Marymount never trailed in the first set as it posted a convincing 13-point win. Leading 6-5, the Saints used a 13-3 run, aided by eight errors by the Knights, to take a 19-8 lead. They also got kills from Marcum, Walker, Cordrey and junior Caroline Hanson before sealing the deal with three of the last four points, all on kills by Johnson.
The second set featured eight ties, the last coming at 17-17, before Southern Virginia scored four of the next five points to take a four-point lead that it would not relinquish.
Just like the previous three sets, Marymount jumped out to an early lead in the third set, leading by as many as four, 11-7. However, a 5-1 run by the Knights tied the set at 12-12. Neither team could pull away as there were seven more ties with the last coming at 20-20. From there, Southern Virginia scored five of the final seven points, three of which came on errors by the Saints, including two on service errors.
The Knights (22-7) jumped out to a 9-4 advantage in the fourth set before Marymount rallied to tie it at 9-9, one of eight ties in the set. Trailing by one, 17-16, an attack error by the Saints started an 8-3 run for Southern Virginia to close out the set and the match, sending the Knights to the CAC semifinals and giving them their first-ever postseason win.
Selections for the 2017 ECAC Division III Women's Volleyball Championship will be announced on Monday, November 6 at www.ecacsports.com following the selections for the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship. New this year, the ECAC championship will feature 16 teams, compared to eight a year ago, organized into four pods. A copy of this year's bracket can be found here.