Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Alma College volleyball team loss 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 13-15) to nationally-recognized Carnegie Mellon Friday night. The loss was only the Scots third of the year as their record stands at 18-3. Carnegie Mellon, who has votes in the national coaches poll, moves to 17-7.
The Tartans' Lauren Mueller led all players with 24 kills while Maia So-Holloway had the most assists with 58.
- The first set Alma came out looking great as the had to take on the host team to kick of this weekend's tournament. Three seperate runs of five straight points put the Scots in great position down the stretch. With the score 23-22 and Carnegie Mellon holding serve, the Scots had a great eye on the ball as it landed just long to give Alma the point. A ball handling error sealed the deal.
- The Scots started off well in the second set but a 7-0 run by the Tartans gave them the lead and they never looked back. Alma had 13 kills in the second frame compared to only 11 in the first, but nine errors is what proved costly.
- The third set was very tight with Alma leading in the early portion, a six-point run gave Carnegie Mellon a 15-11 lead but the Scots chipped away drawing within one to make it 21-20. From there both teams traded points multiple times, and with the Tartans leading 24-23 they won the point on Alma's serve to take a two sets to one advantage.
- The Scots did not give in though, in the previous situation this season, when Alma was down 2-1 against Albion, they came back and won the match. The Scots looked to recapture that play and did so in the fourth after trailing early they went on a 6-2 run to take a 16-14 lead. The Scots fought off the Tartans the rest of the way and earned the fourth set victory with a bad set violation by Carnegie Mellon.
- The fifth set was a roller coaster affair. Alma fell down 6-2 early but after Head Coach Alex Leja took a timeout, the Scots looked inspired. Alma rattled off 10 of the next 14 points and had a 12-10 lead in a deciding set that only 15 points are needed to win. But the Tartans went on a run of their own winning five of the next six points. A kill by Diana Balta is what earned Carnegie Mellon the victory in what was a thrilling match.
- Freshman Sara Majerle (Rockford, Mich. / Rockford) had a team-high 19 kills and 22.5 points.
- Senior Katie Bush (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) and freshman Haley Ullrich (Elk River, Minn. / Elk River) both added 14 kills.
- The Scots had 96 digs compared to the Tartans' 87.
- This was only the second time this season Alma has gone to a deciding fifth set. They are 1-1 in such occasions.
Alma continues their appearance at the Carnegie Mellon Tournament Saturday. They'll face North Park University (IL) at 11 a.m. then the Scots are scheduled to wrap up tourney play at 1 p.m. when they take on Arcadia University.