CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University won the first two sets, but SUNY Cobleskill battled back, as the Fighting Tigers defeated the Spartans, 3-2 (18-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17, 15-12), Tuesday night in a non-conference collegiate volleyball match at Glenbrook Gym.
Honored before the match in the Senior Night ceremony, Kimberly Jackson notched a double-double with a team-high 13 kills, tying her career high, along with 14 digs. Maria Jackson nearly earned a triple-double as she mixed up the offense and stood tall on defense, finishing with 25 digs, 13 assists, and eight kills.
Maria Jackson earned two service aces as Castleton won the first four points of the match, but SUNY Cobleskill responded with five unanswered points, including two kills by Rachel Burke, to take a 6-5 lead. The Spartans put together an 11-2 scoring run to open a 16-8 advantage, and then Jess Grace closed out the first set for Castleton with a kill.
SUNY Cobleskill (8-11) rallied from an early 8-5 deficit in the second set with an 11-4 scoring run, capped by a service ace by Katerina Weingarten, to pull ahead, 16-12. The Spartans slowly cut into the Fighting Tiger lead, eventually creating four ties down the stretch. Castleton would score five of the final six points of the second set, punctuated by consecutive kills from Kimberly Jackson, to take a 2-0 match lead.
The Fighting Tigers scored the first three points of the third set and then, after a service ace by Grace gave Castleton a 10-9 lead, scored four straight points to retake the lead at 13-10. A block by Shannon Manchester and Greta Hoehn tied the set at 14-14, but SUNY Cobleskill finished the set with an 11-4 scoring run, led by Burke with four kills.
Two kills by Karyn Knaul helped SUNY Cobleskill open the fourth set with five straight points, but Castleton battled back, going on a 9-2 scoring run to open a three-point advantage midway through the set. Down 15-12, the Fighting Tigers went on a 13-2 scoring run, led by five kills from Emily Potter, to win the fourth set and force the deciding fifth set.
Two kills and a block assist by Manchester allowed Castleton to score the first five points of the final set, but SUNY Cobleskill answered right back with nine unanswered points, led by Potter with two kills and Mackenzie Holbert with two service aces. Another block by Manchester drew the Spartans to within one, but the Fighting Tigers held off the home team's rally, as Burke clinched the set and the match with a solo block.
Manchester finished the match with six kills and four total blocks, Hoehn contributed five kills, nine assists, nine digs, two service aces, and two block assists, and Grace added three kills, two service aces, and 13 digs. The Spartans finished with 11 aces as a team, but seven of them came in the first set.
Potter notched a double-double with 14 kills and 16 digs, plus she posted a .310 hitting percentage, the same as Burke with 12 kills. Holbert collected 37 assists, 17 digs, and three service aces, while Kendra Webb earned 12 of her 15 defensive digs in the final three sets after she switched into the libero uniform.
Castleton (5-14) heads to Lyndonville, Vt., this Saturday, Oct. 21, for its final two North Atlantic Conference matches of the regular season, facing the Lyndon Hornets at 10 a.m. and the Johnson State Badgers at 12 noon.