Red Devils Claim Conference Opener in Epic Comeback

Photo by Matt O'Haren
Photo by Matt O'Haren

(Swarthmore, Pa.) – The Dickinson women's volleyball team gave new Head Coach Jenn McMonagle her first Centennial Conference win on Friday night, and made it one of the most memorable matches in program history in the process.

The Red Devils would rally past the Garnet after trailing 0-2 and claim the conference opener (17-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-11).

Swarthmore had strong starts in each of the first two sets and the Red Devils came on late but were unable to catch the Garnet as they jumped out to a 2-0 advantage.  

The Red Devils made a great run in the third set, making a big run to overtake the Garnet and extend the match, 26-24.

Dickinson overcame a six-point deficit, cutting the lead to one at 16-15 and then pulled even at 17. Swarthmore countered but the Red Devils kept their composure and rallied to pull in front, 23-21, before the Garnet answered to pull even at 24.

Emma Lange (Jupiter, Fla./Benjamin) gave the Devils the edge with a kill and an error by Swarthmore kept their hopes alive, 26-24.

The Red Devils carried the momentum into the fourth set, jumping out to a 6-0 start before the Garnet could force a side-out and put a point on the board.

Swarthmore regrouped and rattled off five straight points. That triggered a see-saw battle that led to tie at 14-14. The Garnet gained some separation with a 4-1 run, forcing a timeout at 18-15.

Dickinson immediately knotted the match at 18 and a strong showing at the net from Morgan Biggs (Stephenson, Va./James Wood), forcing a Swarthmore timeout as the Devils took the lead, 22-19.

Biggs ended an incredible rally with another kill to give the Devils a 23-20 advantage. They closed out the game with a kill from Jenna Schumann (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Germantown Academy) and an attack error by the Garnet.

The intensity continued into the final set with the teams even at 8-8 before Dickinson tallied back-to-back points and then went in front 12-9 to force a Garnet timeout.

Kylie Albertsen (Woodstock, Md./Marriots Ridge) scored off a pair of blocks, joining Elise Butler (Chester Springs, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) on one before an attack error gave the Devils the match with a 15-11 win in the set.

Biggs led the Devils at the net with 17 kills and three block assists. Schumann recorded 13 kills and had 22 digs to join an epic performance in the backcourt as the Devils combine for 120 digs in the match. Junior Tatiana Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Colegio Puertorricquenno Ninas) led the charge with a match-high 31 digs as five Devils reached double-figures. Lopez added seven assists, three aces and a pair of kills.

Butler had 22 pick-ups while Jacqueline Banker (Rockaway Park, N.Y./Archbishop Malloy) tallied 19 Kristin Allgaier (Reston, Va./South Lakes) recorded 14 to go with 36 assists.

Lange finished with 10 kills and five digs while Albertsen finished with one solo block, five block assists and five kills.

The Red Devils improve to 8-3 on the season. They return home to face Franklin & Marshall on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.