Hopkins Falls to Richard Stockton in Heartbreaker, 3-2
Nov. 9, 2012
SALISBURY, MD -- Sophomore Ellen Rogers' career-high 20 kills were not enough Friday evening as the Johns Hopkins volleyball team fell in a five-set thriller (19-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 16-14) to Richard Stockton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Hopkins (29-4) saw its record-breaking season come to a close in the loss, while Stockton (29-6) advanced to the second round to play the winner of Salisbury and Mt. St. Mary (NY).
"I think it was obvious in the game-play [Hopkins] gave it everything they had," said Hopkins head coach Matt Troy. "Towards the end there was a lot of passion and I'm very pleased."
The Blue Jays were dominant at the net to begin the match, led by sophomore Megan Cohan's three kills and three blocks. Hopkins won a string of important rallies that were finished off by Jasmine Warmington and Rogers to extend their lead to 17-13 in the first set, and closed out the frame with an incredible dig off the head of senior Amelia Thomas, 25-19.
Stockton shook off its first set struggles and opened the second set on fire, taking a 15-7 lead. Two timeouts by Troy over the course of two points could not quell the Ospreys' run, as they won the set, 25-15, with a .636 hitting percentage.
The Ospreys carried their momentum from the second set into the third, breaking out with a 15-8 run. A Troy timeout galvanized the Blue Jays, however, and they proceeded to go on a massive 8-0 run led by Rogers to even the set. Hopkins closed out the set, 25-21, to take the 2-1 lead.
Neither side managed to take full control of the fourth set, as the lead changed seven times. Stockton's Nicole Serekian proved too powerful for the Blue Jays, however, tallying nine kills in the set to lead her side to a tight 25-23 victory and force a fifth set. The Blue Jays were unfortunate to lose their second-leading hitter, Katie Schwarz, to an injury in the process.
Back-and-forth action continued into the conclusive fifth set as Hopkins and Stockton traded leads eight times. The Blue Jays appeared to take control by jumping out to a 14-12 lead, but the Ospreys roared back with four consecutive points to win the set, 16-14.
Serekian and Stephanie Warner each tallied 22 kills to lead Stockton, while Carolyn Zin and Mariel Metalios combined for 47 assists in the effort for the Blue Jays. The Centennial Conference's Player of the Year, Warmington, had 14 kills for Hopkins.
Despite the loss, Hopkins has an extremely bright future, as six sophomores and two freshmen played all five sets for the Blue Jays.