DENVER, Colo. — Seattle U volleyball defeated regional rival San Francisco (0-2) in four sets, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, on Saturday morning at the Denver Classic. The result marked just the sixth time since 2002 that the Redhawks began a season with victories in each of their first two outings.
Trailing 7-5 in the first set Seattle U rattled off five unanswered to claim a 10-7 lead. The run was sparked by Julia Queiroz who had five kills in the outing, while Rachel Stark buried one herself and dropped in an ace to help fuel the push. Seattle U was in the driver’s seat from then on eventually pulling away late behind a 5-1 run en route to a 25-19 win.
The Redhawks jumped out to an early 5-2 lead in the second set, but the advantage quickly evaporated as the Dons battled back tying the frame at 6-6 and 7-7. USF tallied three of the next four points to push its way out front, 10-8. San Francisco miscues allowed the Redhawks to linger but with the offense hitting .031 in the stanza, the Dons used a 5-1 run late to widen the gap, knotting the match, 1-1.
Behind a 6-1 run in the third, the Redhawks comeback from 18-13 deficit late to tie the frame at 19-all. Eve Kerschenbaum then nudged the Seattle U out front, 20-19, as she registered one of her match-high 21 kills. Kerschenbaum, Ezgi Ozkan and Lauren McCabe then added to the SU cause with an assisted block, but Seattle U miscues though ended the rally and allowed USF to creep out to a 22-21 lead. Despite trailing 23-22, the Redhawks assumed as 2-1 match advantage, edging out the Dons with a 3-0 spurt.
Seattle U led by as much as five midway through the fourth, following an 11-3 run which helped it claim a 16-11 lead. Amaris Carter was notable in the rally as the freshman contributed with three kills en route to finishing the day with eight. San Francisco trimmed the margin to 20-18, but were unable to draw any closer as Seattle U capped with match with a 5-2 run.
In addition to her 21 kills, Kerschenbaum also tallied 10 digs for her second double-double in as many matches. Stark followed suit with 11 kills and 14 digs. Ozkan finished with 41 assists and McCabe recorded a match-high with seven blocks.
Seattle U finished the match hitting .223 with 51 kills and 22 errors, while tallying 50 digs and 11.5 blocks, while the Dons had 45 digs, 6.0 blocks and hit .208 with 47 kills and 20 errors.
The Redhawks will conclude the Denver Classic later this evening as they face the host Pioneers. First serve is slated for 6 pm PT.