WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Gallaudet University volleyball team put its undefeated conference record on the line Saturday at the Field House. The Bison won their first seven North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) games since it joined the conference last summer. GU hosted four other southern NEAC teams for a two-day slate of matches. On the second day, the Bison (19-11, 7-1 NEAC) started with a quick 3-0 win over the College of Saint Elizabeth. The last GU match of the day against Penn St.-Berks was a different story as the Lions won in five sets.
The Buff and Blue beat the Eagles of St. Elizabeth (1-21, 0-8 NEAC) handily in the morning contest 25-6, 25-4, 25-10. Junior Paige Johnson (North Richland Hills, Texas) had company at the top of the assist board with sophomore Lauren Benedict (Germantown, Md.) who had 11 and 10 assists, respectively. Paige reached double figures for service aces with 10. Sophomore Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.) added a game-high seven digs, while freshman Michelle Mansfield-Hom (Frederick, Md.) had the distinction of attaining the only solo block for the team in the morning contest.
However, the team couldn't hold onto its undefeated record for much longer as it fell to Penn St.-Berks (20-3, 7-1 NEAC) in a five-set thriller (26-28, 25-14, 26-24, 16-25, 13-15). Sophomore Mari Klassen (White Rock, British Columbia) demolished the team's previous season-high for kills in a match (19 - which she owned) with 25 in the contest. Paige Johnson also beat her own personal and team-best 46 assists in a game tally with 55 in Saturday's matinee. Junior Micaela Paulone (Fishers, Ind.) added a team-high 23 digs and five assists; this marks the sixth time this season that Micaela has led the team with 20 or more digs in a match. Six players contributed double-digit dig totals in the contest as well. Sophomore hitter Jessica Israel (Frederick, Md.) added 11 kills.
The Bison were supplanted by Berks at the top of the NEAC standings with the hard-fought victory. Glenda Ngo led the team with 41 assists and 16 digs. Amy Shelton (18) and Rachel Sweeney (15) led the team in kills, while Katie Sostak had a game-high 24 digs.
GU looks to continue their winning ways as they face Catholic University of America (15-11) in the Field House on Wednesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. The Bison are participating in the annual American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Dig Pink program and hope all fans wear something pink to show their support on Wednesday.