RIPON, Wis. – Marian University women’s volleyball (3-4, 1-0 NACC) fell to Ripon in five-sets to open the Red Hawks Invitational and closed out the first day falling in four sets to Saint Mary’s (Minn.).
A late 6-1 run from the Red Hawks allowed Ripon to take the first set 25-20. Marian would hit .306 despite dropping the opening set with 16 kills to only five errors. The offense continued to play well with 11 kills in the second set to only one error for a .370 hitting percentage. After holding a slim 8-7 lead, MU went on a 12-6 streak to take a commanding 20-13 lead and cruise to the set win.
The Sabre offense had a rough set in the third but managed to stick around in the set. Marian trailed by a slim 21-19 margin until a 4-1 run from the Red Hawks gave RC the set and a 2-1 sets lead.
Marian and Ripon went back-and-forth to open the fourth set leading to a 17-16 Ripon lead. From there, Marian found another gear and was able to force a deciding fifth set with a 9-3 run. In the fifth, Ripon jumped out early with a 7-3 lead. Marian managed to cut the deficit to one at 10-9 but once again the Red Hawks pulled away late scoring the final five points of the match to clinch the win.
Three Sabres had double-digit kills led by freshman Cheyenne Henson who had a team-high 13. Sophomore Jenna Skroski had 15 digs in the back row, while senior Amber Baker produced her second straight double-double with 41 assists and 15 digs.
The Sabres would fall in the opening two sets against their second match of the day 25-17 but rallied in the third to force a fourth set by a 25-21 final. The Cardinals held off a Sabre comeback in the fourth, however, defeating MU in the fourth 25-17 to clinch the win.
Henson once again led the Sabre offense with 10 kills, while Baker recorded another double-double with 33 assists and 17 digs. Skroski led the MU defense with a team-high 18 digs.
Marian closes out the Red Hawks Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 16, against Lawrence at 10 a.m. and Carroll at noon.