Volleyball Starts Season With Sweep At Immaculata

Valentine Courouble
Valentine Courouble

IMMACULATA, Pa. – The Haverford College volleyball team notched a victory in its first match of the season, downing the Immaculata Mighty Macs in straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-18) on Thursday night at Alumnae Hall on the Immaculata campus. Maddie Becker (12) and Valentine Courouble (10) both posted double digit kills in the win. The Fords improve to 1-0 on the young season while the Mighty Macs sit at 1-1 after defeating Bryn Mawr in the second match of a season-opening doubleheader. 

The Fords were locked in a title battle early in the first set at 14-13 before embarking on an eight point run to push the advantage to 22-13. The run featured back-to-back service aces from Sara Matsumura and an emphatic kill from Becker that forced a Mighty Macs timeout. The hosts fought back to cut the advantage to just 23-18, but a service error by Olivia Carter gave the Fords set point. A kill by Tess Kieffer and a Kaylynn Mayo error cut the lead to 24-20 before Mayo ended the back-and-forth set with a kill. 

Haverford cruised out to a 10-6 lead in the second set, as Courouble went on a service run that forced Immaculata into an early timeout. A Kieffer kill and a block from Shelby Belk tightened up the scoreline at 10-8, but Haverford took the next two points on errors to take the momentum back. The Mighty Macs tied the score at 14-14 but Haverford was able to jump back out to a 20-16 lead thanks to the combination of setter Zoe Wong, Courouble and Becker, who joined together for each point during the stretch. Immaculata pulled to within three at 22-19, but Haverford took the final three points of the set, with a Courouble kill the penultimate strike before Julia Gallagher-Teske solo blocked a Shelby Belk attempt for the set two win.

Set three saw the two squads trade points for the majority of the early going, with a bad set by Wong allowing the Mighty Macs to tie the score at 13-13. With Hailey O'Mara serving, Haverford went on a seven point run to take a 20-13 lead, forcing a timeout. The teams traded the next ten points, but Haverford had built up a sizeable advantage at that point of the set, allowing a Wong kill to seal a win in the first contest of 2016.

The Fords had 17 total blocks to just six for the Mighty Macs. Haverford outhit the opposition .188 to .009 with a .270 to -.027 advantage in the final frame. Freshman libero Matsumura had 19 digs while Wong tacked on 29 assists. Gallagher-Teske had six total blocks while Courouble added five in an all-around effort. For the visitors, Olivia Zdradzinski (7) and Gabrielle Guerrera (6) paced the way in kills.

Drew Hargrave picked up her first career win as a head coach as the Fords improved to 7-0 all-time against Immaculata. 

Next, Haverford will host the Haverford Invitational at Gooding '84 Arena. The Fords take on Marymount (Va.) and MIT on the first day of competition before hosting Heidelberg and Delaware Valley on Sunday.