Volleyball Challenges USF, St. John’s, Dropping Pair of Decisions

Volleyball Challenges USF, St. John’s, Dropping Pair of Decisions

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Brown University volleyball challenged the University of San Francisco and St. John's University, dropping four sets via the two-point minimum, in falling to USF, 3-1, and SJU, 3-0, in the San Francisco Challenge on Saturday at the Sobrato Center.

On the campus of the University of San Francisco, the Bears (1-6) pushed the host Dons (4-5) in a 3-1 (30-28, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19) setback before putting pressure on the Red Storm (8-1) in a 3-0 (25-7, 25-23, 25-23) defeat.

On the day, sophomore Sabrina Stillwell (Laguna Beach, Calif.) led the Bears with 20 kills while junior Shirin Tooloee (San Jose, Calif.) and senior Payton Smith (Atherton, Calif.) finished with 14 and 13 kills respectively.

Senior Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) – a selection for the San Francisco Challenge All-Tournament Team – posted 29 assists between the two matches, and junior Melissa Cairo (Hillsborough, Calif.) made 18 digs vs. USF.

Next, the Bears host the Brown Invitational from Sept. 16-17 with the Bears taking on Binghamton (Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., Spike ALS Match), Central Connecticut (Sept. 17, 12:30 p.m.), and New Mexico St. (Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m.).

Match 1: San Francisco 3, Brown 1 (30-28, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19)

Brown challenged the University of San Francisco in every set, but the host Dons pulled out a 3-1 (30-28, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19) win in the Bears' first match of the day at the San Francisco Challenge on Saturday afternoon.

The Bears fell via the narrowest of possible margins in the first two sets before taking a two-point victory in set three. The Dons took the final frame despite a late rally from the visitors.

Stillwell posted a team-high 14 kills on .379 hitting while freshman Makena Ehlert (Orange County, Calif.) finished with eight kills and seven digs.

Cairo tallied a match-best 18 digs. At the setter spot, Lucenti and sophomore Elisa Merten (Woodside, Calif.) charted 20 and 13 assists respectively. Merten tacked on seven digs, and Lucenti had four aces.

The Bears and Dons went to extra points in set one with USF emerging with a 30-28 victory in the frame. After Brown opened the stanza with an 11-2 lead, USF worked its way back into the game, moving ahead 18-15 on a 16-4 run. The Bears responded with four straight points to tie the set at 20-20 and gained set point at 24-21.

USF rallied to tie the opening frame at 25-25. Brown gained set point on three occasions in overtime, but the hosts pulled out the 30-28 win. Stillwell and Tooloee terminated on five and four kills respectively in the period.

Brown pushed USF again in set two, but the Dons took another two-point victory, claiming the frame via a 25-23 score. Brown held a 12-6 edge early in the stanza before USF knotted it at 16-16. Behind a 7-1 spurt, the Dons pulled ahead 20-17. The Bears countered, tying the set at 21, 22, and 23 prior to USF taking the set's final two points. Smith landed four kills in the frame.

Brown pushed the match to a fourth set with a 25-23 triumph in set three. After USF opened the frame with a 6-1 lead, Brown battled back, capturing a 13-11 edge with a 6-1 run. The two sides then combined for six ties over the remainder of the set before the Bears closed the frame on a 5-1 streak. Stillwell paced the Bears with six kills in the period.

USF jumped out to an 11-1 advantage in set four before Brown pulled within 14-9 on an 8-3 streak. The Bears cut their deficit to three points at 19-16, but the hosts won six of the last nine points to grab the set, 25-19. In the stanza, Ehlert posted four kills, and Cairo had six digs.

For USF, Tyna Adamcikova recorded a double-double on a match-high 27 kills and 15 digs. Emily Reed and Kate Ashman notched 17 and 12 kills respectively. Kim Gutierrez contributed 17 digs while Trish Koutsoukos and Montana Green dished out a match-best 27 and 22 assists respectively.

Match 2: St. John's 3, Brown 0 (25-7, 25-23, 25-23)

Brown pushed St. John's to the edge in the second and third sets, but the Red Storm took a 3-0 (25-7, 25-23, 25-23) victory in the Bears' third and final match at the San Francisco Challenge on Saturday evening.

Tooloee, Smith, and Stillwell paced the Brown offense with eight, six, and six kills respectively. Merten and Lucenti distributed 12 and nine assists apiece. Sophomore Francie Holte (Laguna Beach, Calif.) tallied a match-high 10 digs.

St. John's took a 25-7 win in the first set, gaining advantages of 10-3 and 18-5 on its way to the set victory.

The Bears countered in set two, pushing the Red Storm in an eventual 25-23 win for St. John's. The two teams witnessed seven ties from the start of the frame until the score stood at 12-12. Brown scored six straight points to pull ahead 20-13 before St. John's answered with an 8-1 run to tie the score at 21-21 and move on to win the frame. Tooloee led Brown with five kills in the set.

Brown again pushed St. John's in the third frame prior to the Red Storm taking the match with a 25-23 win in the final set. The Bears used a 7-2 run to tie the set at 9-9, and the two sides remained knotted at 18-18. St. John's pulled ahead 23-20, but Brown responded with three straight points to pull level at 23-23. St. John's won the last two points to claim the set. In the period, Stillwell and Smith landed five and four kills respectively while Holte had five digs.

For St. John's, Julia Cast terminated on a match-high 15 kills, and Erica Di Maulo dished out a contest-best 33 assists.

Video of all Brown volleyball home contests and all Ivy League matches, home and away, will be broadcast live on ILDN.TV/BROWN.