CLEVELAND – The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team split a pair of matches on day one of the 15th Annual Marcia French Memorial Tournament at Horsburgh Gymnasium. The Spartans opened the day with a 3-1 victory versus local-rival John Carroll University but fell in five sets to Buffalo State University (N.Y.) to close out the night.
The Spartans (3-3) wrap up the weekend tomorrow with a pair of matches versus Geneva College (Pa.) at 10:00 a.m. and Capital University at 2:00 p.m. This tournament is being co-hosted by Baldwin Wallace University.
Versus John Carroll (4-2), the Spartans started fast with a .242 hitting percentage in the first set to win 25-20. The Blue Streaks evened the match via a 25-15 win in the second, but the Spartans claimed the next two by counts of 25-16 and 25-23.
Sophomore outside hitter Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) was the top player in the attack with 15 kills versus just three errors. Freshman Lauren Gurd (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day), starting for injured sophomore Robyn Marks (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott), set the offense with 29 assists.
Defensively, sophomore libero Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny) tallied 24 digs, while freshman Julie Colaianni (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Joseph Academy) and Gurd posted 12 and 10, respectively. In the block, Gurd contributed one solo and one assist, while junior middle hitter Natalie Southard (Buffalo, N.Y./City Honors School) totaled four assists.
The Blue Streaks were led by Leah Switalski with 11 kills and Kit O'Shaughnessy with 39 assists and 11 digs.
Versus Buffalo State (2-4), the Spartans grabbed the first set 25-14 before the visitors reeled off two-straight wins by scores of 25-18 and 25-13. Case evened the match in the fourth, 25-18, behind a .289 hitting percentage. However, Buffalo State claimed the deciding set, 15-12, to hand the Spartans their third loss of the season.
Bogart led four Spartans in double-figures with 20 kills, while freshman outside hitter Isabelle Wagner (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) posted 14. Gurd blew past her season-high total from the JCU match with 52 assists – one of the top totals in program history.
Defensively, five Spartans finished with double-figure digs, led by Colaianni with 23 and Best with 21.