Montclair State University’s women’s volleyball team won a thrilling match Friday, Oct. 5 against Manhattanville College, three sets to one. Freshman outside hitter Carly Waterman led the team to victory with 16 kills and seven digs as she continues to lead the team in kills with 174 for the season. Senior setter Ashley Griffith kept the Hawks alive with 32 assists for the match.
The Red Hawks started off the first match with a bang by siding out on the first point and keeping up great offense and defense. With early kills from junior middle Caitlin Lange and senior right side Natalia Majkut, the team kept their errors to a minimum.
“We improved from a tough loss against Rowan [University],” said head coach Eddie Stawinski. “It was the perfect time to play more consistent.”
Montclair State seemed to have the up on Manhattanville for the majority of the set, with many rallies and key saves. The Red Hawks took the set away at the end, going up 22-14 and continuing to make consistent serves. Griffith brought the Red Hawks to game point with a service ace, and Manhattanville made an error to give Montclair State the first set win, 25-18. Waterman added seven kills in the set to bring the Red Hawks to the top.
“We really meshed well together,” Waterman said. “A lot of girls came in to help.”
The second set took a turn as Manhattanville came out on top. After going down 14-6, Montclair State decided to change up the lineup to try to get some points back. Sophomore setter Megan O’Rourke helped out the Red Hawks with three service points, but the momentum stayed with Manhattanville. They won 25-18.
Montclair State dominated the third set, making it a quick 25-14 win. Freshman outside Leah Higgins came up big for the Red Hawks with four kills, and Waterman and Griffith each served an ace to get the win. Higgins delivered the winning kill to secure the set.
“We served well, and played offense well,” Stawinski said.
The last set proved to be the most exciting one, with back and forth rallies and nine tie scores.
“We felt very good because we prepared for this team,” Stawinski said.
Sophomore defensive specialist Alexandra Campos started the set off with key digs as well as a few kills from Waterman. The Red Hawks’ offense was unstoppable, with lots of attempts and kills from all players. Higgins’ kill in the set stopped a Manhattanville service run that gave Montclair State the momentum to win the game. A kill by Waterman gave Montclair State their fifth straight win.
“We have a good opportunity in our hands,” Stawinski said. “We have to focus and take one step at a time.”