FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Tessa Clark led all players with 19 digs Wednesday night, but her Goshen College women's volleyball team lost a three-set match at the University of Saint Francis by scores of 25-15, 25-20 and 25-19 in Crossroads League action.
Haylee Pennington led the Maple Leafs (5-9, 0-2) with 6 kills while Jennifer Ritchie added 5 to go with 17 digs. Taylor Eash recorded 3 blocks, outpacing a trio of teammates that finished with 2 apiece. Ally Roehr's 21 assists led the team as did her 1.000 hitting percentage.
The Cougars (10-4, 2-0), who were one spot shy of being ranked in the NAIA coaches poll released Wednesday, hit .250 for the match and got 10 kills out of Ava Kunkler to lead all players. Eliana Serdynski added 8 spike winners and the match's only solo block while Nikki Marshall contributed 18 digs. Maria Pelak assisted on 43 of the team's 45 kills.
USF led throughout the first set before Goshen opened the second stanza on a Roehr ace and took four of the first six points. The Cougars used a 5-1 run to go up 7-5, then held off GC as the visitors cut the margin to one point on three separate occasions, and finished the set with the last four points.
Set three was tied at the first three opportunities before the teams traded runs: USF won six of seven points to go up 14-8 and Goshen responded with the next five rallies. After the Maple Leafs tied the score at 19, six straight Cougar points ended the match.
Despite the loss, Goshen remained in a tie for sixth in the conference standings: all five teams that lost their conference openers also lost again Wednesday.
GC now begins a five-match homestand with three matches in five nights, starting with back-to-back contests this weekend. The Maple Leafs host Huntington at 7 p.m. Friday and Grace at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gunden Gymnasium.
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