August 25, 2012 Recap
DEARBORN, MI - The Daemen Wildcats dropped a pair of matches today, falling in three sets to the St. Xavier Cougars (20-25, 22-25, 20-25) and in a five-set thriller to the Northwestern Ohio Racers (25-17, 25-21, 20-25, 10-25, 14-16) on day two of the Early Bird Challenge from the Michigan-Dearborn Field House. The losses put the Wildcats in a three-match drought having dropped their second match yesterday to NAIA #16 Madonna after opening with a three-set victory over Spring Arbor.
"After dropping a disappointing three games against St. Xavier, we came out with a lineup adjustment and a better work ethic against Northwestern Ohio," said Daemen head coach Mark Parisi. "But, even after taking a 2-0 lead we seemed to lack the energy to finish. We clearly need to close out matches when we have that type of lead. Fatigue set in and some players made some uncharacteristic mistakes."
In the loss to St. Xavier, sophomore Jenn Karan (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park HS) managed 10 kills while Kaley Vazquez (Kenmore, NY/Kenmore West HS) had 14 assists. Katie Auge (Salamanca, NY/Salamanca HS) paced the Wildcat defense with 12 digs.
Despite the uninspired effort vs. the Cougars, Daemen responded and built that two-sets-to-none lead over Northwestern Ohio - a team that had beaten twice last season. But, Daemen hit just .196 as a team and committed 21 attack errors in the match.
The Wildcats held the lead throughout the fifth set, leading at one point 14-13 with an opportunity to close it out. A big swing from Karan sailed out of bounds and the Racers capitalized by winning the final three points of the match.
Karan pounded down 15 kills in 29 attempts to lead the Daemen offense. Sophomores Ye Wang (Beijing, China/Hachioji Jissen HS) and Lindsey Nowak (Hamburg, NY/Immaculata Acad.) chipped in with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Vazquez helped out with a season-high 24 assists and Auge once again paced the defense with 17 digs.
Daemen is now idle until a five-match trip to the William Jessup Warrior Challenge in Rocklin, CA from Sept. 6-8.