CASTLETON, Vt. – After a hard-fought 3-1 loss to SUNY Old Westbury (19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15), Castleton University quickly rebounded, earning its first win of the season by sweeping Paul Smith's College, 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-10), Sunday afternoon in non-conference collegiate volleyball action at Glenbrook Gym.
Against the Bobcats, Shannon Manchester led the Castleton offense with six kills, while setter Maria Jackson collected 17 assists, three kills, four service aces, and 11 digs. Kimberly Jackson also finished with 11 digs to go along with four kills and three service aces, and Meghan Zawatsky contributed five service aces and nine digs.
Paul Smith's (2-5) scored the first four points of the match and extended its early lead to 13-5 on a kill by Julia Ho. Castleton went on a 7-1 scoring run to close its deficit to two, but the Bobcats stretched it out back to four at 20-16. The Spartans closed the opening set with a 9-1 scoring run, capped by two service aces and a kill from Maria Jackson.
The Bobcats took a 4-1 lead in the second set and eventually pulled into a 9-9 tie on a kill by Jessica McLaughlin. The Spartans responded with a 12-3 scoring run to open a 21-12 advantage, but Paul Smith's scored four unanswered points to close to within five. Castleton closed out the second set with four straight points of its own, including two Zawatsky service aces.
In the third set, McLaughlin earned back-to-back kills to give the Bobcats a 6-3 lead, but Castleton quickly rattled off a 19-1 scoring run to open a 22-7 advantage. After three straight points by Paul Smith's College, the Spartans clinched the set and the match with three unanswered points, punctuated by a kill from Asia Padua.
Against Old Westbury, Manchester collected 11 kills, Greta Hoehn finished with seven kills, three service aces, 13 digs, and two block assists, and Kimberly Jackson contributed seven kills, four service aces, and 11 defensive digs. Zawatsky once again led the Spartans in the backline with five service aces and 16 digs.
Castleton controlled the early portion of the opening set against the Panthers, taking advantage of Old Westbury mistakes to open a double-digit lead. Down 21-10, Old Westbury went on a 9-3 scoring run, but a kill by Kimberly Jackson clinched the first set for the Spartans.
Old Westbury (7-1) opened a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Castleton put together an 11-3 scoring run, capped by consecutive kills from Manchester and a service ace by Kimberly Jackson. Down 18-14, the Panthers went on an 8-1 scoring run to take the lead, but a kill by Alexia Lengyel and a service ace by Jess Grace tied the set at 22-22. Old Westbury won the final three points of the set to tie the match, capped by a kill from Danielle Corsi.
The Spartans held the lead in the third set, expending it to as much as five points at 16-11 on a kill by Hoehn. The Panthers went on a 10-2 scoring run to pull ahead, 21-18, and then they won the third set on a kill by Kristin Grieshaber to take a 2-1 match lead.
Old Westbury controlled the fourth set, opening a 12-4 advantage on three consecutive service aces by Kyraleigh Zinnel. After a kill by Hoehn pulled Castleton to within six at 20-14, the Panthers finished off the Spartans with five of the final six points of the match, capped by a service ace from Sofia Goris.
Castleton (1-6) travels to Bennington, Vt., this Wednesday, Sept. 20, to face Southern Vermont before returning home next Saturday, Sept. 23, for a tri-match involving Green Mountain and Becker starting at 11 a.m.