ASHLAND, Ohio – The Felician University women's volleyball team dropped a 16-14 deciding set in its 3-2 non-conference loss to Bloomsburg University on Friday evening at Charles Kates Gymnasium. Earlier on Friday, Felician (0-2) began its 2019 season with a 3-0 non-league setback to Notre Dame (Ohio) College. Both matches took place during the Ashland University Invitational.
Freshman setter Miquela Martinez (Santa Fe, N.M.) made a solid debut for the Golden Falcons. Martinez amassed 22 assists and 17 digs versus NDC before accumulating 32 assists and 25 digs in the loss to Bloomsburg.
Felician fell behind two sets to one against the Huskies. In the fourth, the Golden Falcons received two service aces from freshman Tabatha Wagner (Wabash, Ind.) during a six-point run that converted a two-point deficit into a 16-12 lead. Moments later, another 6-0 run by Felician gave it full control and eventually forced the deciding set.
The Golden Falcons fell behind, 8-1, at the changeover in Set 5. The deficit reached 9-1 before Felician clawed back. Still trailing, 13-7, Felician captured seven consecutive rallies, three on Maddie Sloan (West Caldwell, N.J.) kills, to move ahead 14-13 for match point. But Bloomsburg recovered on back-to-back kills by Mary Kate Mooney (Royersford, Pa.), then forced a Golden Falcon error to claim the victory. The final score was 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25, 16-14.
The Huskies' Alyssa Cianciulli (Royersford, Pa.) recorded 44 digs and six assists. Sydney Buell (Yardley, Pa.) totaled 20 kills, eight digs and five blocks, while Mooney finished with 15 kills and 11 digs. The teams combined for 199 digs (102-97 Bloomsburg).
For Felician, Wagner turned in 12 kills and 20 digs and Sloan added eight kills. Sophomore libero Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii) recorded 27 digs and classmate Alondra Diaz Sanchez (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) had 13 more. The Golden Falcons and Huskies meet again next weekend in a tournament hosted by Post University.
Felician matched up with Notre Dame on Friday morning to begin the tournament and the season. The Golden Falcons allowed NDC to pile up a .281 attack percentage in a 25-21, 25-19, 25-17 loss. Setter Paige Staudacher (Rochester Hills, Mich.) guided a balanced Notre Dame offense with 42 assists, eight digs and three aces. Her favorite target was Kaye Dregella (Olmstead Falls, Ohio), who hit .400 with 11 kills.
Sloan topped Felician with nine kills and Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii) ended up with six. Gallagher turned in 16 digs and seven assists.
Felician faces California (Pa.) University and Fairmont State University in consecutive non-conference matches on Saturday in Ashland, slated to begin with California at 3 p.m.