DURHAM, N.H. — A balanced effort on Thursday evening saw Seattle U improve to 3-1 on the year to rally past Holly Young Invitational host New Hampshire (3-2) for a 3-1 victory in Durham, N.H. The Redhawks dropped the 25-20 before win the next three stanzas, 25-18, 25-17, 25-20.
“I’m happy with the result but more so with how it was achieved,” said Seattle U head coach James Finley. “It was good team effort. From the outsides to middles and even the backline, everyone was involved.”
The Redhawk offense was paced by Eve Kerschenbaum and Rachel Stark as each finished with a match-best 17 kills. Stark also added 14 digs for her second double-double of the season and seventh of the her career.
The offensive effort was orchestrated by Ezgi Ozkan, notching her third match with 40+ assists, as she finished with a match-high 43.
Defensively, Tijana Milojevic anchored the Redhawk backline collecting a match-best 23 digs, moving her career total to 1,053. Kailee Kurokawa followed with 13 digs, while Kerschenbaum was one shy of a double-double. At the net, Julia Queiroz had five blocks, while Lauren McCabe finished with four.
Collectively Seattle U held the Wildcat offense to sub-.150 hitting in the last three frames as it finished with a .187 to .104 margin. The Redhawks also finished the match holding favorable margins in digs, 68-60; and blocks, 10-9.
The Redhawks led 6-3 in early into the first before pushing the score to a 17-13 lead midway through. The Wildcats however responded with a 5-1 rally to move out front, 21-19, before taking the frame 25-20.
Trailing 3-0 to open the second set, Seattle U battled back to draw level at 5-5 before assuming a 7-5 lead. The Wildcats lingered holding a three-point deficit late until Seattle U stretched the margin to six, 19-13, behind a 6-2 rally. New Hampshire though answered tallying three-straight forcing a timeout from the SU bench. From the timeout, a refocused Seattle U put down the hammer as it closed the set, 25-18, tying the match at 1-1.
It was Redhawks in the third as they blitzed past UNH for an 8-3 lead, before pushing the advantage to 11-3. Behind a 5-1 surge, the Wildcats trimmed the margin to 12-8. That however was the closest New Hampshire would get as Seattle U won the frame, 25-17, for a 2-1 match lead.
With momentum on its side Seattle U went wire-to-wire to win the fourth. The Redhawks opened the frame with a 6-3 advantage, but saw their lead cut to 14-12 midway through. Seattle U however held the Wildcats at bay as it pushed the score to 21-16 late en route before completing the comeback with a 25-20 tally.
The Redhawks return to the court on Friday when they square off against Brown, with first serve slated for 1:30 pm PT.