The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team battled its way to a pair of come-from-behind victories on Friday night at Horsburgh Gymnasium, as the Spartans topped the Rochester Institute of Technology and Berry College, each by 3-2 scores, to open play at the 18th-Annual Marcia French Tournament.
With the two wins, the Spartans remained undefeated and improved to 6-0 overall on the year. CWRU also raised its home record to 3-0 for the campaign.
CWRU 3, RIT 2
Down a set in the first match of the day, the Spartans rallied to keep their undefeated record intact, claiming wins in the last two sets to top RIT 3-2 in the first match of the night.
After CWRU edged RIT 25-23 in the first set, the Spartans would drop the next two sets to the Tigers, falling 25-20 and 25-15. Down 22-21 in the fourth set, Case Western Reserve rallied to score the final four points of the frame, punctuated by a set-clinching kill for freshman Brianna Lemon.
The Spartans would take control in the fifth set, rolling to a 15-6 win to secure the match.
Lemon paced the Spartans hitting .400 for the match and recording a team-high 18 kills, while freshman Haley Sims and senior Kayla Pfaff added eight kills apiece. Sophomore Shannon Carroll collected 30 assists, and sophomore Karina Bondelid contributed with a team-high 15 digs.
With the loss, the Tigers fell to 4-2 on the year.
CWRU 3, Berry 2
In the nightcap, the Spartans overcame an early two-set deficit against Berry College, winning the final three sets to top the Vikings 3-2.
After dropping the first two sets 25-17 and 25-19, the Spartans began their comeback with a 25-22 victory in the third set, and evened the score with a 25-20 win in the fourth set. With the score tied at 3-3 in the fifth and deciding frame, the Spartans would score seven of the next 10 points to take a four-point lead, 10-6. The Vikings would not go away, evening the score at 13-13, but a kill and a block by Sims would give the Spartans the match-deciding points.
The ending capped off a tremendous effort from Sims in the second match, as the freshman hit .500 for the contest and led all CWRU players with 14 kills in the contest. Also in double-figures for kills in match were Lemon (12), and Pfaff and senior Marian Barton with 11 apiece. Carroll tallied 43 assists, while Lemon led the squad with 17 digs.
Berry's record fell to 5-1 with the loss.
The Spartans will wrap-up play at the Marcia French Tournament on Saturday, when the squad plays host to Defiance College at 11:00 a.m. and Bethany College at 1:00 p.m.