Standish, Maine—The University of Maine at Fort Kent suffered an opening night loss to the St. Joseph College Monks in four sets, 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 25-20. UMFK had dealt SJC a pair of losses – including the championship game in last year’s tournament.
In a match featuring countless extended volleys and a number of athletic saves on both sides of the net, St. Joe’s managed to come out on top despite facing deficits in kills (45-43) and hitting percentage (.157 - .142). The difference proved to be the serving game, as the Monks held slim leads in aces (11-9) and service errors (6-9) en route to posting a thrilling victory.
For the Bengals, junior Payton Spragling boasted a tourney-high 17 kills with four aces and 11 digs, senior Hope Driscoll tallied 10 kills and four block solos, Satterfield posted 11 kills with four digs, and West chipped in with 39 assists and 13 digs. Kahele paced UMFK with 17 digs in the setback.
Freshman Erin Olson was outstanding in the victory with 13 kills on 21 attempts for an otherworldly .524 hitting percentage with four total blocks to boot. Bickford contributed 12 kills, Copp added seven with five total blocks, and Randall continued her upward trend with 15 digs, six kills, and five aces. Thompson registered 28 digs while Dyer dealt 40 assists in the four-set win.