|Kills||Nikki DeSerpa (14)|
|Assists||Taylor van der Biezen (24)||Grace Campbell (36)|
|Aces||Taylor van der Biezen (1)||Grace Campbell (3)
Kate Hefner (3)
|Digs||Kelsey Ediger (12)||Kalie Wood (12)|
|Blocks||Three tied (2)||Grace Campbell (5)|
KINGSTON, R.I. — The Columbia volleyball team earned its first sweep of the season, defeating Marist in convincing fashion (25-20, 25-18, 25-17) Friday afternoon. The match was the first of three for the Lions over the weekend at the Art Carmichael Invitational, hosted by the University of Rhode Island.
Columbia (2-2) hit over .400 in both the second and third sets to cement the victory. The Lions finished the match hitting a season-high .323, all while holding Marist (3-5) to a .183 mark, including .081 in the opening set.
Senior Anja Malesevic and junior Natasha Kosowicz led the offensive outburst with a team-high 12 kills apiece. Kosowicz also picked up nine digs to come up one shy of a double-double. Junior Luciana Del Valle added eight kills and sophomore Chichi Ikwuazom checked in with six. All four Lions hit over .300 and the quartet combined for 38 of the team’s 43 kills.
Grace Campbell set the entire way and tallied a season-high 36 assists in just three sets. The sophomore also led all players with five blocks and matched classmate Kate Hefner with three aces. Kalie Wood, also a sophomore, shared the match-high of 12 digs with Marist’s Kelsey Ediger.
After trailing the majority of the opening set, Columbia closed with 12 of the final 17 points to take the early lead. Campbell and Ikwuazom combined for a block with the Lions down 15-13. Two points later, Kosowicz tallied a kill to put the Lions in front, 16-15, marking their first lead since 8-7. Marist tied the set two more times down the stretch, but Columbia went on a 7-2 run to close it out, clinching the opener on another block by Ikwuazom and Campbell.
Columbia’s offense could not be matched the rest of the way. Malesevic paced the second set with five kills and a .714 hitting percentage. The senior also served the length of a 6-0 third-set run. Kosowicz was the offensive catalyst in the final frame, earning six kills at a .455 clip while the Lions hit .421 as a team to run away with the sweep.
Columbia is scheduled for two matches on Saturday. The competition gets underway before noon with an 11 a.m. match against Northeastern. The Lions then have the rest of the afternoon off before wrapping up the tournament against host URI at 7 p.m.