Sept. 14, 2013
Easton, Pa. - The Leopards women's volleyball team improved to 8-2 with a pair of sweeps against Quinnipiac and Morgan State in the Crosstown Tournament. Lafayette won two of its three matches in the tournament.
The Maroon and White were led by sophomore Brianne Giangiobbe's 19 kills and senior Karissa Ciliento's 16 kills. Junior Danielle Towslee chipped in with 14 kills and a .400 hitting percentage, while classmate Katy Rooney contributed 11 kills. Sophomore Lauren Pisauro led the Leopards with 35 digs, and freshman Samantha Volk handed out 52 assists on the day.
In the first match against Quinnipiac, Giangiobbe had 10 kills and Towslee had nine kills. Volk led the team with 19 assists, while senior Molly Belcher assisted on nine kills. Pisauro came up with 19 digs from the libero position.
Quinnipiac was led by Allison Leigh and Brittanie Robinson, who tallied seven and eight kills, respectively. Setter Emma Ogden handed out 17 assists, while Logan Riker had 11 digs for the Bobcats.
The Leopards got off to a slow start in the first match of the day, as they found themselves down 10-5 early on. With Towslee serving, the Leopards won the next six points on a pair of kills from Rooney and a block from Rooney and Volk.
With the Maroon and White ahead, 13-12, the Leopards went on a 5-1 run to take an 18-13 lead. Lafayette maintained the lead the rest of the set, before kills from Giangiobbe and Rooney gave the Leopards the game, 25-22
The second set started the same as the first set with the Leopards down 11-5. Lafayette clawed its way back into the set with four blocks in the next seven points, to cut the lead to 12-11. A kill from Jet Manzi and a block from Giangiobbe and Towslee knotted the set at 14.
The Leopards went on an 11-2 run to close out the set. A pair of kills from Manzi and Towslee, a block by Belcher and Towslee, and an ace from Manzi ended game two, 25-16.
Lafayette jumped on Quinnipiac early in the third set, forcing an early timeout from the Bobcats. Back-to-back kills from Giangiobbe and Towslee gave the Leopards a 6-2 advantage. A pair of kills from Towslee pushed the lead to 11-5.
Quinnipiac came roaring back with a 9-1 run to take the lead, 14-12. Once again the Leopards used a 13-2 run, highlighted by consecutive kills by Towlsee and Ciliento to close out the third set, 25-16 and the match, 3-0.
The Maroon and White were back in action later in the afternoon, when they squared off against Morgan State. The Leopards used a balanced attack to get past the Bears in straight sets. Giangiobbe led the way with nine kills, and was followed by Ciliento and Manzi with eight kills each. Towlsee and Rooney chipped in with five kills apiece.
The Bears were led by Janelle Wilson's 10 kills and Natalie Chafeh's 24 assists. Samantha Prescott contributed seven kills in the loss.
The Leopards found themselves down 11-9 in the first set before Ciliento smashed a kill on a feed from Volk, and back-to-back kills from Rooney pushed Lafayette ahead, 13-11. With the Leopards ahead 17-6, Manzi hit four kills in five points and added a service ace to push the lead to 22-17. A kill from Rooney and a block from Ciliento, Rooney and Giangiobbe ended the Bears comeback effort and the set, 25-22.
The second set was all Lafayette, as the Leopards never trailed. The Maroon and White ran out to a 10-4 lead on a kill from Volk. A kill by Towlsee and an ace from Pisauro pushed the advantage to 20-10. Another kill by Towslee, followed by a block from Manzi and Towslee ended the set, 25-11.
The third frame found the Leopards going back and forth with the Bears early in the set. Morgan State took the lead 13-11, but a kill from Giangiobbe knotted the game at 14. With Manzi serving, the Leopards won five straight points to gain a 19-16 lead. At 23-20, a kill from Giangiobbe and an ace from Ciliento gave the Leopards the sweep.
Lafayette opens Patriot League play on Wednesday night, when they make the trip to Bethlehem to take on rival Lehigh at 7 p.m. The Leopards stay on the road Saturday at 4 p.m. against Navy in Annapolis, Md.