CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Denison volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-16) decision to Carnegie Mellon University in their season-opening match at the 2019 Spartan Invitational held at Case Western Reserve University on Friday night.
With the score knotted up at 20-all in the opening set, the Big Red rattled off five of the final six points to lock up the victory. After a Tartan serving error broke the tie, a combo block by senior Alex Tubbs and freshman Sidney Gossard extended the DU advantage. Tubbs followed with a kill that forced CMU to call a timeout. Carnegie shrunk the margin to two coming out of the stoppage, but a Gossard kill and a Tartan hitting miscue finalized the first-set score.
The Big Red fell behind by as many as eight (11-3) in the second before an offensive surge squared the match at 20-20. The two squads exchanged points, but a 4-0 run by Carnegie Mellon tied up the match after two sets.
The third set was close until a late charge gave the Tartans a 2-1 lead. In the final set, CMU took advantage of some Denison mistakes en route to a victory.
Sophomore Payton McElfresh led the DU offense with 15 points by way of 13 kills and two aces (both team highs). Gossard and first-year Lucy Anderson each posted 11 points. Gossard logged nine kills and four block assists, while Anderson totaled nine finishers, two block assists and a service ace. Setter Sophie Tight led the team with 33 assists and 20 digs.
Denison (0-1) wraps up play at the Spartan Invitational on Saturday when they take on host Case Western Reserve (10 a.m.) and Utica (12 p.m.)