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Women’s Volleyball Falls to Roberts Wesleyan in Five-Set Thriller

Desiree Walters vs. Roberts Wesleyan on March 20, 2021.
Desiree Walters vs. Roberts Wesleyan on March 20, 2021.

In its first taste of East Coast Conference competition, the D'Youville women's volleyball team took Roberts Wesleyan to a fifth and deciding set on Saturday afternoon in the College Center Gymnasium, but were unable to complete the upset. The non-conference win (21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 15-9) moved the Redhawks to 1-0 on the campaign, while the Saints sit at 0-2 following the match.

Emily Rowlison was the focal point for Roberts, posting a triple-double in the victory with 17 kills, 19 assists and 11 digs. Rowlison was one of three Redhawks to tally 10-plus kills, joining Lauren Norwood (15 kills) and Miranda Rich (10 kills). Norwood also registered a double-double with 13 digs, while Madison Truong nearly had a double-double of her own with 26 assists and nine digs.

On the Saints, freshman Kelly Cleversley continued to power the D'Youville offense with 12 kills in addition to 15 digs and four aces to give the outside hitter her first career double-double. Fellow freshman Emma Wlostowski added her own double-double by racking up 24 assists and 16 digs, adding on seven kills in 12 error-free attempts, while a match-high 19 digs highlighted junior libero Desiree Walters' day.

A Carly Milleville kill started the contest, helping the Saints grab a quick 5-1 lead before Roberts clawed back to even the opening set at 10-10. The Redhawks used a 5-0 run to take their first lead of the day, flipping the set to 15-11 in their favor. Another Milleville kill halted the run, as that began a 14-5 stretch by the home team, with two-straight Wlostowski kills finishing off the first set, 25-20.

The second frame saw the two sides trade points early, again battling out to 10-10 deadlock. The guests did not allow the set to remain close, ripping off a 6-0 surge that gave them enough of a lead to roll to a 25-17 set win.

In the third set, D'Youville and Roberts sat tied on seven different occasions through the early going. The Saints eventually got out to a five-point lead three times, but a closing 11-2 spurt from the Redhawks help Roberts recover and claim the set, 25-21.

The Saints and Redhawks had a set to remember in the fourth, tying the score 12 times during the frame. Neither side could get a run going for most of the set, but D'Youville finally broke through for a 4-0 streak that retook the lead and gave the Saints a 21-18 advantage. Despite a push-back from Roberts, the Saints held on for a 25-21 victory to force the fifth and final set.

Both teams got 3-0 runs to start the final set, but a 12-5 stretch from the Redhawks proved too much for the Saints to overcome, as Truong's fifth service ace of the match sealed their fate.

Notables – Wlostowski's double-double on Saturday gives her back-to-back matches with a double-double … Cleversley has paced the Saints in kills in each of the team's matches this season … Walters' 19 digs are the most for the libero since she racked up 21 digs vs. Wells on Sept. 21, 2019.

Up Next – The Saints will have a two-week break until they return to action, coming back on April 8 to face crosstown ECC foe Daemen. That match is set for 7 p.m. from the College Center Gymnasium.