BLUFFTON, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team opened the 2013 campaign with a pair of wins on day one of the Sommer Center Spiketacular hosted by Bluffton University. The Spartans rallied to defeat Alma College (Mich.), 3-2 in the opener, and then knocked off Marietta College, 3-1, in their second match of the evening.
The Spartans wrap up the opening weekend of the season tomorrow afternoon with a 12:00 p.m. match versus Bethany College (W.Va.) then a 2:00 p.m. bout with Hope College (Mich.).
Versus Alma (1-1), the Spartans were efficient early and won the first set 25-18 with 14 kills versus just two attack errors. The Scots answered by claiming the next two sets by counts of 25-19 and 25-21, but the Spartans rallied to take the final two, 25-20 and 15-12.
In the attack, sophomore outside hitter Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) was the top performer with a team-high 14 kills. Sophomore setter Robyn Marks (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) orchestrated the offense with a career-high 41 assists.
Defensively, four Spartans were in double-figures in digs, led by sophomore libero Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny) with a career-high 24. Marks contributed 15 digs, and junior middle hitter Natalie Southard (Buffalo, N.Y./City Honors School) tallied six of her team's 18 block assists.
Also of note, freshman Isabelle Wagner (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) just missed a double-double in her collegiate debut with nine kills and 11 digs.
Alma was led by Lea Klooster with 14 kills and just two errors in 16 attack attempts.
Versus Marietta (0-2), the Spartans won the opening set 25-23 before the Pioneers evened the match via a 25-21 victory. The third and fourth sets both went to the Spartans by scores of 25-18 and 25-16.
Bogart and Marks once again led the offense with 12 kills and 39 assists, respectively. Best led the defense with 22 digs.
Following tomorrow's matches in Bluffton, the Spartans open the home portion of the schedule next Friday and Saturday, September 6-7 as co-hosts of the Marcia French Memorial Tournament at the Veale Center.