Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Cao Reaches Career Mark for Kills as Tartans Fall in Five to Susquehanna

women's volleyball player hitting the ball for a kill attempt

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team opened its first home quad invite of the year on Friday, September 24 against Susquehanna University. The Tartans led by two sets before falling, 3-2, to the River Hawks.

Carnegie Mellon (5-6) earned a 26-24 first-set victory after rallying for three straight points when facing match point down 24-23. Senior Anna Cao (Princeton, N.J. / Princeton) put down the winning kill after senior Carrie Stewart (Victor, N.Y. / Victor) gave the Tartans a 25-24 lead with a kill. Cao had five kills in the set.

The Tartans trailed 8-7 in the second set before a 7-0 run gave them a 14-8 advantage with three points coming off service aces by sophomore Mindee Lai (Belmont, Mass. / Belmont). After three points by Susquehanna (7-4) , the Tartans put together a four-point run off two attack errors by the River Hawks and two kills by senior Vivian Beaudoin (Washington, N.J. / Warren Hills).

The seven-point lead in set two was cut to two at 19-17 but the Tartans finished the set off with five kills and service ace to win it 25-19.

Susquehanna pulled out to a 5-0 lead in set three before extending the match to a fourth set with a 25-18 win.

Set four also went to Susquehanna by a 25-23 score. The Tartans held the lead or the match was tied up until the River Hawks broke a 16-all tie with a kill by Riley O'Dowd. The visitors went on to lead by five, 22-17, and although the Tartans fought back to 23-22 and then 24-23, a kill by Rosina Esposito was able to finish off the set.

Four blocks by the Susquehanna defense helped the visitors rally from two sets down to win the fifth set, 15-11. The back-and-forth set was broke open by the River Hawks when O'Dowd tied the match at eight with a kill. Three attack errors by the Tartans, including two blocks by Susquehanna, and two additional kills put the River Hawks up 13-8 and the Tartans could not recover.

Cao finished the match with a career-best 20 kills while sophomore Jane Dean (Wilmette, Ill. / New Trier) collected 17 kills and senior Carrie Stewart (Victor, N.Y. / Victor) put down 11 kills. Lai finished with a career-best 56 assists and five service aces. Lai's assist number is an individual season-high for the team as well. Freshman Abby Chen (Fairfax, Va. / Oakton) led with 16 digs while senior Liz Jankowski (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Oakland Catholic) had 13 digs.

For Susquehanna, Esposito put down 21 kills with O'Dowd finishing with 19 kills. The River Hawks had 14 blocks for the match with Kody Dillon accounting for six block assists.

The Tartans will open Saturday's play against Westminster at 11:00 a.m.