Coast Guard Rallies Past Volleyball in Five-Set Thriller

Coast Guard Rallies Past Volleyball in Five-Set Thriller

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Sam Hunter (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and sophomore Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) each registered a double-double, but it wasn't enough, as Coast Guard rallied from two sets down to defeat the Connecticut College volleyball team in its annual Green Dot game by a 3-2 decision on Thursday evening at the Luce Field House. Set scores were 26-24, 29-27, 19-25, 14-25 and 8-15.

The first set was tightly contested and featured 10 ties and four lead changes. Coast Guard led by as many as five in the middle stages, but the Camels fought back and most notably burst ahead during the stretch run when juniors Maddie Rust (Austin, Texas) and Jenny Kellogg (Los Altos, Calif.) teamed up for a block to make it 24-23. After a kill by Angelou Dunton knotted the score for the 10th time at 24-all, the hosts got consecutive kills from Kellogg and Hunter to take the set by two points.

The second set was also a nip-and-tuck battle, as the first 15 rallies were highlighted by five exchanges of the lead as well as seven ties. As the seesaw battle continued to play out, Coast Guard put itself in a position to win the set when Makenna Martin set up Alexi Deane for a kill to give the Bears a 24-22 advantage. Connecticut College, however, scored the next three points and went ahead on consecutive attacking errors by the visitors. Senior Belinda Mullally (Garden Grove, Calif.) later broke a 27-all deadlock with a kill, and the Camels eventually captured the marathon frame which had 17 ties and 12 exchanges of the lead on another Coast Guard attacking miscue.

Despite trailing by two sets, the Bears regrouped during a 10-minute break and seized the momentum for the remainder of a long evening. Coast Guard took the third set by six points to avoid elimination and then cruised in set four to force a deciding set. The wave continued for the Bears, who jumped out to an 11-3 advantage in the fifth frame, and back-to-back attacking errors by the hosts allowed Coast Guard to escape with the come-from-behind win.

Coast Guard (16-9) had three players which finished with double-doubles. Bridget Boyle contributed 18 kills and 17 digs, Martin tallied 32 assists and 14 digs, and Dunton ended the evening with 14 kills and 18 digs.

Hunter filled the stat sheet to lead the way for Connecticut College (11-8) by recording 13 kills, 15 digs, one service ace and two blocks. McGee posted 32 assists and 18 digs, while Rust finished the night with eight kills and five blocks.

Connecticut College will next travel to play a tri-match at UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Camels will first play Southern Maine at 2 p.m. before facing the host Corsairs at 4 p.m.