Explorers Go 1-2 At La Salle Invitational

PHILADELPHIA – The Explorer volleyball team ended the La Salle Invitational with a 3-1 (23-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-25) loss to Providence on Saturday morning at Tom Gola Arena.  Sophomore Rachel Finkbeiner was named to the All-Tournament team.

The loss gave La Salle a 1-2 record at the tournament.

Junior Kelly Scanlon ended the match with a double-double of 16 kills and 14 digs for La Salle.  Finkbeiner also posted double-digit kills with 11. Junior Breanna Mazalewski and freshman Jennifer Whelan each added 19 digs.  Senior Kourtney Clark had 37 assists.    

The Explorers dropped the first four points at the start of the first set before working to tie the score at 9-all after a kill by senior Alex Kennedy and assist by Clark.

La Salle kept the set close, and after falling slightly behind the Explorers knotted the contest at 21 with a Scanlon kill and then again at 23 with another Scanlon kill.  La Salle finally fell, 25-23 ,on an attack error.  Scanlon led the Blue and Gold with five kills in the set.

In the second set, the Explorers used three straight kills, one by Scanlon and two by Finkbeiner, to knot the set at 11. Clark added an ace to give La Salle a 12-11 lead.  However, La Salle couldn’t stay on top, dropping the set 25-20.

The Explorers built a 5-3 lead to begin the third set and then extended it to 9-5 after a Providence error.  The Friars worked to get back into the game, tying the score at 13.

Explorers responded with three straight point give themselves a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the set.  Finkbeiner and Scanlon each had four kills in the set.

La Salle battled, but would go on to drop the fourth set, 25-15.

During the first day of competition, the Explorers defeated St. Peter's 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-23) in the morning session before falling 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-13) to Canisius in the evening.  

The first set against St. Peter's was tight at the outset. However, a kill by Finkbeiner knotted up the contest at 12-all and with a Kennedy ace, the Explorers gained a 13-12 edge. They would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the set. 

La Salle closed the game out on a 13-2 run, with Jacquelyn Mitrovich, Jennifer Whelan and Scanlon all adding kills during the rally. Two straight aces by Samantha Tulskie sealed the set victory 25-14.

The next set played out in much the same way. Two Clark service aces put La Salle up 10-9 and then 11-9 and La Salle finished the contest on a 15-8 run.

In the third set, the Explorers sustained a late-game rally by the Peahens to take the set 25-23 and win the match.

Clark added 29 assists on the match, while Finkbeiner had a match-high 11 kills. Mazalewski contributed 15 digs.

In their second match of the day against Canisius, the Explorers played a competitive first set with Canisius. La Salle came back from a 21-12 deficit, aided by several attack errors by the Golden Griffins.

La Salle played a tough second set, again playing from behind. Explorers gained five straight points on the serve of Kennedy to close Canisius' lead to 18-14. However La Salle would fall, 25-18.

In the third set, the Explorers stumbled as the Golden Griffins built an early 11-3 lead and added on to defeat La Salle 25-13.

Mitrovich paced the Explorers with six kills, while Tulskie, Finkbeiner and Whelan all had five. Clark posted a game-high 25 assists and tied with Mazalewski for the team led in digs with each adding eight.

After adding 27 kills, three aces and seven digs across three matches, Finkbeiner was named to the All-Tournament Team.

La Salle will continue play on Tuesday evening when it hosts Towson Tom Gola Arena.  The match will begin at 7:00 p.m.