The Maryville College Scots volleyball squad opened the 2019 season in a hard-fought fashion, but Hanover College held on for a 3-2 victory in five sets.
MC played host to the Bicentennial Invitational Classic, as the Scots saw Meredith Bonee pick up where she left off last season. The sophomore posted a triple-double in her season debut.
"Meredith, she played well," Maryville College Head Coach Kandis Schram said. "It's important, but it's about balance. It's about balancing, and we've got to work harder to balance the offense and get a little more defense. We just missed too many serves. That was a good team. We've been working at being more aggressive at our serve, and it just got away from us. Fourteen missed serves is too many. You can't win a match with 14 missed serves."
The junior outside hitter posted 15 kills and 20 digs in first collegiate match, while Morgan Smithson had five kills, three digs and an assist as a freshman.
"It's good," Schram said. "It's always hard to know when to let it play out, when to go to your bench, and what flow. That's what the beginning of the season is – to see what people can do. Fresh eyes. We've been practicing with each other for 10 days, and it was good to see what they could do. We'll break it down and try to get better."
Maryville College took the opening set of the match in dramatic fashion, as the Scots fought off a Hanover rally for a 26-24 victory. After four-straight points, the Orange and Garnet snuck out to a 19-15 lead late. Mathews, Smithson and Rhianna Tyldesley added kills in the run, while Bonee posted an ace.
The Panthers clawed back, however, punching in six-consecutive points for a 21-19 lead. The Scots found their rhythm on a Brianne Sidner kill to regain control. Kills by Mathews and Dejane Hester-Taylor ended the set, 26-24. MC hit .224 in the opening set with just six errors, as they held Hanover to a .089 percentage.
The Panthers rallied in the second set for a 25-21 victory, as Hanover found their swing with a .355 clip in the second set. Bonee, Sidner and Mathews had four kills each in the set, while the Panthers saw Emma Rolf tally six kills, three digs and an ace in the second-set victory.
Maryville trashed Hanover in the third set, taking a 2-1 lead with a 25-14 set victory. Maryville hit .304 with 18 total kills in the set to only four errors. Bonee led the defense with nine assists digs in the set, as Mathews added seven of her own. The Scots held Hanover to a .048 percentage, as they gave up just five kills in 42 Panthers attacks.
Hanover hit .265 and .350 in the fourth and fifth sets to earn the come-from-behind victory. Four MC errors and a trio of Hanover aces put the Panthers in control, 12-3, as they took the third set, 25-16.
Three-straight errors in the fifth opened the set up with the Scots down, 3-0. MC cut the lead to one, 9-8, on a Sidner kill late, but the Panthers would take the match, 15-11.
Maryville (0-1) was led by Bonee's 23 digs, 22 assists and 15 kills, while Sidner led the squad with 16 kills and nine digs. Mathews had 15 kills and 20 digs, while McDaniel added 29 assists and 16 digs. Marcrum had 13 digs and 10 assists, as Dejane Hester-Taylor posted 10 kills.
Hanover (1-1) was paced by Carlie Burson's 15-kill effort, while Rolf had 12 kills and 10 digs. Kelsey Ketcham added 25 assists and 23 digs, as Ally Williams led the Panther defense with 24 digs.
Maryville returns to action tonight, as they face off with Centre College at 7:15 p.m. inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium.