CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's volleyball team battled closely with SUNY Cobleskill Tuesday evening, but fell in straight sets to the Fighting Tigers, 3-0, at Glenbrook Gym.
Castleton falls to 2-3 on the year with the loss, while Cobleskill improves to 2-2 overall after winning 25-20, 25-18 and 25-19. The Fighting Tigers hit .278 as a team with 11 service aces, while Castleton hit just .081 with six aces.
Shannon Manchester notched her first 10-kill game of the season and sixth of her career as she hit .429 on the night. Bre MacDuff chipped in with 13 assists, seven digs and a pair of aces, while Meghan Zawatsky had six digs, four assists and two aces. Layne Cronin had three digs off the bench, and Madison Hamelink added three kills and four digs for the Spartans.
The Fighting Tigers were led offensively by Jillian Nitchman's 12 kills and .733 hitting percentage, while Maleigha Ellithorpe racked up 29 of the team's 30 assists on the night. Regan Hubner added nine kills and Katerina Weingarten had eight. Mikayla Catherman led the team with 14 digs.
Castleton led early in the first set, but Cobleskill rallied to take a four-point lead—their largest of the set—after a pair of points on Nitchman's serves. Castleton battled back to a one-point deficit at 18-17 after a kill by Lizzie Goodrich and an error by Nitchman, but the visitors closed the set on a 7-3 run to take the opening frame.
In set No. 2, Castleton again hung tight in the early going. Trailing 12-9 at the midway point, the Spartans rattled off four straight points behind MacDuff's service. The 4-0 run was capped by an ace from MacDuff to give Castleton a 13-12 lead. The lead increased to 16-14 after a kill by Hamelink, but a pair of errors and an ace by Cobleskill put the Fighting Tigers ahead once again. After Castleton leveled the score at 17-17, Cobleskill closed the match on an 8-1 run highlight by a pair of kills from Nitchman.
The final set had more drama, as the sides battled back-and-forth throughout. Ellie Frischmon served the Spartans to five straight points early on to give her team a 6-5 lead before Castleton extended the lead to four points at 11-7. Cobleskill battled back, however, and the teams saw tied scores at 13-13, 16-16 and 17-17 as neither side pulled away. Cobleskill once again finished the set strong, ending with an 8-2 run to finish the contest after rattling off five consecutive kills.
Castleton returns to action on Saturday, September 7, when they travel to Bay Path for a tri-match. The day begins against Pine Manor at 12 p.m. before the Spartans face the hosts at 2 p.m.