PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman Natalie Welsch (Eden Prairie, Minn.) led the Crusaders with a season-best 22 kills, while freshman Katie McKernan (Sylvania, Ohio) posted her fourth double-double of the season with 27 assists and a season-best 16 digs as the Holy Cross volleyball team defeated Bryant, 3-2, at the Brown Invitational at the Pizzitola Center on Saturday afternoon by scores of 18-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-20 and 15-11. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 4-5 overall, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-10 overall. Welsch was named to the Brown Invitational All-Tournament team as she recorded 36 kills over the three matches. This is the second All-Tournament team that Welsch has made as she also earned the honor at the Harvard Invitational.
Freshman Emily Popp (Clarkston, Mich.) recorded 26 digs as this is the fifth time this season she has posted 20 digs or more. Sophomore Emily Oliver (Carlsbad, Calif.) tallied nine kills and freshman Mandy Sifferlen (Sudbury, Mass.) posted eight kills. Junior captain Mary-Kate Short (Lighthouse, Fla.) led the team with five blocks.
The Bulldogs were led by Jana Kmec who posted a double-double with 38 assists and 11 digs. Sara Depouw led Bryant with 14 kills, while she just missed a double-double with a team-best nine blocks. Elena Lohr tallied 21 digs.
After dropping the first set by a 25-18 score, the Crusaders were trailing 13-10 in the second set. Holy Cross then won six straight points to move out to a 16-13 advantage. With the Crusaders now leading 24-20, the Bulldogs won two points to cut the lead to 24-22, but a block by junior Kamele Shizuru (Kailua, Hawaii) gave the Crusaders a 25-22 victory. Popp posted nine digs, while Welsch and Short each tallied three kills. With the third set tied at 10-10, Bryant then took 15 of the next 20 points to earn a 25-15 win. Welsch led the Crusaders with six kills. With the fourth set tied at 19-19, the Crusaders won six of the next seven points for a 25-20 win which forced a fifth and deciding set. Welsch once again had six kills to lead the team. With Holy Cross leading by an 11-10 score in the fifth set, the Crusaders won four of the last five points to secure a 15-11 match-clinching victory. Junior captain Alicia Swearingen (Springdale, Ark.) recorded a service ace on match point. The Crusaders are now 1-1 in five-set matches this season.
The Crusaders return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when they play Quinnipiac at the Holy Cross Field House at 7:00 p.m.
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2013 Brown Invitational All Tournament Team
Erin Short, Eastern Michigan - Most Valuable Player
Kelsey Jones, Eastern Michigan
Maddie Lord, Brown
Payton Smith, Brown
Sara DePouw, Bryant
Natalie Welsch, Holy Cross