The Marist women’s volleyball team dropped the first two games of the season in a doubleheader at home against Iona, losing 3-0 and 3-1.
Marist’s lineup consisted of mainly freshman and sophomores, saving their seniors for the second game of the day. Iona won the first set with both teams rallying and coming back at different stages of the opener. Marist saw themselves up 7-3 until Iona blew by them to go up 14-10. Iona took the first set after scoring 2 unanswered to win 26-24. Marist nearly rallied back in the 2nd set after being down 22-12, but fell just short and lost the 3rd set after.
One bright spot for the Red Foxes was debutant Jordan Newblatt, who put up a game-best 16 kills and 16 digs in her first career double-double. Newblatt, the freshman outside hitter, also led the game in points with nobody coming close to her 17 points.
“Taking all that time off and not practicing for four months was hard, but I’m getting back into shape,” said Newblatt. While her performance didn’t show it, Marist players have had to shake off some rust before the season, all teams haven’t had a real practice since the very few they had in September.
Coach Sean Byron spoke about the amount of training Marist athletes have been allotted as well. “It’s difficult when we had six days to practice and Iona had six weeks, but all we can do is just get back and keep training.”
Last year’s assist leader, junior setter McKinley Fox, got out to a strong start to this year’s opener, putting up the most assists in the game with 35.
Marist added more strength to the lineup for the second game of the day, but still came up short 3-1. Fox put up another 37 assists and sophomore outside hitter Jordan Rush led the team in points and kills. Marist clinched the third set with a kill from Newblatt, assisted by Mckinley Fox. A five point unanswered stretch was the key to winning the round, with Rush scoring two of them to go up 18-16.
Marist lost the game with a cold stretch as Iona went on an 11-3 run with only kills from Newblatt, answering for Iona’s onslaught.
The Red Foxes will go on the road for the next two games, facing Rider in Lawrenceville, New Jersey for a double-header on March 14, then traveling to Connecticut to play Quinnipiac on March 19 before hosting Niagara back in Poughkeepsie.
Edited by Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Michael Cahill