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Tribe Volleyball Wins Marathon Fourth to Take 3-1 Win Over Towson
Updated: Friday 10/25/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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The William and Mary volleyball team got back into the wins column Friday by winning a wild affair at Towson, 3-1.  With the victory, the Tribe improves to 8-17 overall and 3-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while the Tigers fell to 7-20 and 0-8 in the conference.

Box Score

The Tribe hit .267 as a team against Towson, its second-best outing all year, thanks in large part to stellar hitting from Michelle Heath (Rustburg, Va.) and Dessi Koleva (Torrance, Calif.).  Heath recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs, and had a sparkling .480 attack percentage while doing so.  For her part, Koleva led all players with 17 kills on a .378 attack, and also added eight digs, two aces, three assists, and a block.

W&M also had two more players reach double-digit kills on the night.  Sophomore Mallory Brickerd (Ashburn, Va.) had 10 kills, three blocks, and two digs, while junior Liz Brown (Ellicott City, Md.) added in 10 kills and four blocks.  The architects of the offense were freshmen Stephanie Paul (North Bethesda, Md.), with 27 assists, six digs, two kills, and an ace; and Gabrielle Pe (Virginia Beach, Va.), who had her first double-double with 22 assists and 10 digs.

On defense, there were several more standouts.  Redshirt-junior Monika Stanciauskas (Wheaton, Ill.) had a match-high five blocks, and was joined at the net by sophomore Carolyn Albright (Raleigh, N.C.) with three blocks.  Both women also had two kills.  The backcourt was ruled by senior Celine Alasomuka (Centreville, Va.), who had 21 digs to lead the team.

In the first set, the Tribe built up a sizable advantage early and managed to hold it until late, when the Tigers went on a tear and tied things at 21-21.  Brickerd responded with a kill to halt the bleeding, and after Towson scored to tie again, Koleva knocked one down to gain the advantage for the final time.  A few points later, Brown put the capper on the 25-23 win, in which all three Tribe hitters had three kills.

Towson tied things earlier in the second set, 17-17, and were able to get out in front to a 25-22 win despite Koleva's six kills, but W&M took advantage of the intermission to come back strong in the third.  Things were close early, with ties at nearly every point up to 10-10, before the Tigers opened up a small lead at 16-11.  An errant serve gave control back to W&M, and the Tribe ran with it all the way out to 22-20 before a block by Stanciauskas forced a Towson timeout.  A Towson error and a block by Stanciauskas and Brickerd, one of five total in the set for W&M, put the Tribe at set point, and Koleva delivered the coup de grace on the 25-22 win.  Both Stanciuaskas and Brown had thre eblocks in the set.

The fourth set was a true marathon, featuring 22 tied scores and nine lead changes as the two teams knotted up at every point from 14-14 and up.  Things really started heating up as Towson reached set-point at 24-23, forcing the Tribe to burn its final timeout.  Heath came out of the huddle with a big kill, and the show was on.  The Tigers had another set point, which was negated by a kill from Brickerd, and Heath scored again next to swing the advantage in favor of the Green and Gold.  Towson had to save three match-points before their next chance to have the advantage, but Brown ended that threat with two big hits and swung control back to W&M at 30-29.

Towson got the advantage back with two kills to go up 31-30, but Heath came through once again to tie things and the Tigers hit the ball out of bounds to give W&M the final lead change, 32-31.  After a handling error tied things again at 32-32, Brown spiked her 10th kills of the match to gain match-point for the sixth time, and Heath made good on it to end the night, 34-32.  The redshirt-freshman had a stupendous nine kills and .750 attack in the set, while Brown had seven more and Koleva six.

William and Mary is back in action Saturday night, playing at Delaware at 7 p.m.  Both teams are tied for the sixth and final spot in the CAA Tournament with just six matches left in the regular season.

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