Robles, Ravens Rally to 3-2 Thrilling Five Set Win at Pace

Mariah Robles (Photo Courtesy of Paola Brena)
Mariah Robles (Photo Courtesy of Paola Brena)

PLESANTVILLE, N.Y.  (November 9, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University volleyball freshman right side hitter Mariah Robles (West Covina, Calif.) manufactured a career-high 25 kills off .328 hitting as the crimson and grey earned a 3-2 (31-29, 21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10) comeback win over Northeast-10 Conference opponent Pace University Saturday afternoon at the Goldstein Fitness Center. The win, the fourth over the last five games for the Ravens evens up their mark at 11-11 and puts them at 5-6 in league play while the Setters fall to 3-21, 2-9 NE10.

Coming off a 13 kill and 10 dig double-double yesterday at Adelphi University. Robles was a force to be reckoned with as she was set a season-high 64 times and successfully killed off a personal-best 25 kills bettering her previous high of 18 in a 3-1 win at Southern Connecticut State a few weeks ago. The newcomer tallied her fifth double-digit kill game across her last six matches and added one dig and three total blocks in the victory.

Senior middle hitter Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tallied 12 kills to go with six digs, three blocks and two assists. Fellow middle masher Ingrid Lindstrom (Dudley, Mass.) chipped in with 11 kills of her own and a team-best four stuffs. On the defensive end, junior libero Ellie Ivanova (Sofia, Bulgaria) racked up a match-high 27 digs while senior Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) added 21 of her own. With two games remaining, Moody has 974 digs and is only 26 away from joining the 1,000 dig club. Setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) had her third game with 50 or more assists as she dished out 51 dimes on offense with 19 digs on defense coupled with five kills.

Tatjana Calimpong-Burke was the offense for Pace as she has a double-double with 18 kills and 11 digs. She also was the match leader in total blocks with six. Brielle Jones and Jamie Soldinger were also in double-digit kills with 13 and 12 respectively.

Pace was one point away from winning the first set, but a Jones attack error tied the set up at 24 all. They then faced set point twice over the next few serves, however, Garnhart and Robles killed off attempts to tie the set. Lindstrom put her team one point away, but Pace deadlocked the score twice. Calimpong-Burke again pushed Pace in front by one. Two freshmen outside hitter Tessa Brandt (Foster, R.I.) kills combined with an attack error were the final three points as Pierce won the opening set 31-29.

A Christal Wong kill put the Setters in the lead 18-13 midway through the second set. Three straight miscues including a Moody ace brought the Ravens within one, 18-17. Pace eventually pulled away and took the stanza 25-21. The hosts won the all-important third set by the same score jumping out to a 9-4 lead. Pierce came within one, 14-13 via a Pease to Robles kill. That would be the closest the Ravens would come in the third set.

With the fourth set deadlocked 16-16, Pace took a two-point lead until Robles killed an attempt off the diving Setters players arm. Pierce tallied the next four points, a Robles mash from the right side, a Pease and Garnhart dual block, a Garnhart middle smash and a Wong attack miscue to put the Ravens ahead 20-18.

Following a Pace timeout, Garnhart sailed an attack attempt to bring the margin to 20-19. She made up for her mistake by crushing the next set by Pease just inside the left line to reestablish the two-point Raven lead. The home squad brought the deficit to one, 21-20 until three in a row by Pierce put them one point away from a fifth set. Brandt killed off an attempt on the left pin to force the fifth set.

Pace put up the first point of the fifth set, however, the Ravens answered with three of their own to lead 3-1. The Setters tied the game 3-3 and took a 6-4 edge after a long rally block and a service ace by Kayla Slusser. Holding a 7-5 lead, Pierce moved ahead 8-7 with three straight points, off an error, a Garnhart ace and a Pease kill as the teams switched sides.

After the switch, Pierce expanded their run to four straight via a Brandt mash to go ahead by two, 9-7. Pace would tie the game 9-9, however, a Pease skip set and a Calimpong-Burke attack that was sailed out of play reestablished the two-point, 11-9 lead as the hosts took a timeout. Robles came out the timeout firing an attempt on the right pin to bring her team three points away from a five-set comeback win. She then notched her 24th and 25th kill of the night putting the Ravens one point away from a victory. Sophomore middle hitter Corinne McCarthy (Kalamazoo, Mich.) who came on in the fourth set, buried a free ball to the open part of the floor for the final point for Pierce.

The Ravens will look to increase their winning streak to three games on Tuesday when they welcome conference foe, interstate rival and no. 10 regionally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University (14-10, 6-4 NE10) for a 7:00 p.m. first serve.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://www.shopfpuravens.com) You can also follow the volleyball program on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensVB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpuravensvb/).