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Busy Day in New Orleans Sees W&M Volleyball Down Southern Illinois, 3-2
Updated: Monday 09/03/2011 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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The William and Mary volleyball team stormed through New Orleans Friday, playing both of its matches in the hurricane-shortened Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic in the span of about 6 hours Friday night.  In the evening's first match, the Tribe beat Southern Illinois 3-2, then turned around at 9:30 at night to face San Diego State, a 3-0 loss to the nationally-regarded Aztecs.  W&M is now 2-3 on the season.

The five-set marathon against the Salukis was the Tribe's third such match already this season, and saw the team win the first, third, and fifth sets.  The two sides traded close sets back and forth, 25-21, 22-25, and 25-21 again for the Tribe, before SIU seemed to have momentum with a 25-16 win in the fourth.  W&M was just saving itself for the final mile, however, and cruised to an impressive 15-8 win in the deciding set, outscoring the Salukis 9-3 down the stretch for the win.

In that first match, freshman Liz Brown (Ellicott City, Md.) led the way with 12 kills on a .385 attack, and classmate Manon Murray (Greensboro, N.C.) was close behind with 11 kills, 17 digs, two aces, and a block.  The third member of the Tribe's true freshman class, setter Carolina Rivas (Orlando, Fla.) had 32 assists and eight digs to go with another service ace.

Also turning in notable performances were sophomores Julia Swalchick (Melbourne, Fla.) and Celine Alasomuka (Chantilly, Va.).  Swalchick had nine kills for her night, while Alasomuka had a match-best 19 digs.  Senior Anne Dorff (Kent, Ohio) led the team in blocks with six, two of them solo efforts, and junior Molly Krull (Raleigh, N.C.) had 11 assists in relief of Rivas and contributed on a pair of blocks.  Redshirt-freshmen Monika Stanciauskas (Wheaton, Ill.) and Paulette Grand Pre (Laguna Beach, Calif.) also had two blocks apiece, with Stanciauskas adding five kills and two aces and Grand Pre six kills and 11 digs.

In the nightcap, pushed up to Friday night so that W&M and San Diego State could fly out Saturday ahead of the impending arrival of Hurricane Lee, the Aztecs showed why they're on the cusp of a top-25 national ranking and won in straight sets.  The Tribe gained steam as the match went on, however, and came close to taking control of the third set before ultimately falling 25-20.  W&M had four straight points late, including a kill and a solo block from Murray, to close the gap to 19-17 and force a timeout from SDSU.

The second match saw Murray, Brown, and Grand Pre all tie for top honors with seven kills, with the two freshman each recording a block and Murray and Grand Pre adding nine digs apiece.  Alasomuka was terrific on defense as well, collecting a match-high 16 digs in her three sets of action at libero.

Next weekend finds William and Mary heading to Anne Dorff's hometown of Kent, Ohio, for the Kent State Mizuno Open on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10.  The Tribe is scheduled to face Robert Morris at 11 a.m. and IUPUI at 5 p.m. on Friday, before finishing out the tournament against Kent State Saturday at 12 p.m.

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