The Marist women’s volleyball team dropped to a record of 12-10 following a three-set loss at home against the Fairfield Stags on Thursday night. With that defeat, the Red Foxes are currently third in the MAAC with a 7-4 conference record.
“The important thing was that we played hard. We didn’t execute very well, but we played hard,” Marist head coach Sean Bryon said.
Fairfield came into this match against Marist as one of the hottest teams in the country. The Stags were on an 11 game winning streak, and had not lost a single set since September 14th against Bryant.
A match between two of the best teams in the MAAC lived up to the hype in the opening set. Neither side showed the ability to pull away, as the largest lead for either team was just three. The Red Foxes held a late 23-20 lead, but were unable to finish things off. Fairfield would eventually go on a 6-1 run to take the first set 26-24. While Marist held a 14-13 advantage in kills, they couldn’t overcome the nine attacking errors in the opening set.
The Red Foxes got off to a strong start in the second, giving themselves an early 13-10 lead. From that point on, the momentum completely shifted as Fairfield took control of the set. The Stags would go on a 15-4 run to take second 25-17. It was more of the same for Marist, as their seven attacking errors in the set put the team in a big hole that was inescapable.
With an opportunity to finish the match off, Fairfield showed the ability to control the tempo in the early stages of the third. Marist head coach Sean Bryon was forced to take a timeout after the Stags took a 13-7 lead. The Red Foxes immediately responded, taking six of the next eight points to cut the deficit to just two. Fairfield, who was dominant at the net all night long, really showed that ability late in third. The Stags would go on a 10-5 run to take the third and final set 25-18.
While it was a tough night for most of the Red Foxes, Sasha Van Der Merwe was one of the standout performers for Marist. The outside hitter from Guelph, Canada had a team-high 12 kills and ten digs.
The Red Foxes will get a chance at revenge on November 7th, when they travel to Connecticut to face the Stags for the second time this season.
Marist returns to play on October 23rd at 1 p.m., when they face the Iona Gaels at the Hynes Athletics Center in New Rochelle, New York. The Red Foxes are 26-26 against Iona all-time, including an eight match win streak that stretched from 2013-2016.
Edited by Connor Kurpat
Photo from Marist Athletics