Kowalski Named MVP and Sansanelli Earns Spot on All-Tournament Team
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The Washington College volleyball team won its third DeSales Invitational championship in four years and second straight as the Shorewomen completed a perfect 4-0 weekend with two wins in the second day of the DeSales Invitational on Saturday at Billera Gym. In the first match of the day, Washington rallied to down Rutgers-Camden, 3-2, (22-25, 25-15, 18-25, 25-22, 15-6) and captured the crown with a three-set win over DeSales, 3-0, (25-19, 25-21, 25-19). Junior right-side hitter/defensive specialist Cassie Kowalski (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) was named the invitation's MVP, while sophomore middle hitter Isabella Sansanelli (East Northport, N.Y./Elwood-John H. Glenn) was named to the all-tournament team. In the win over Rutgers-Camden, Sansanelli had 10 blocks and became the first WC player with 10 blocks in a match in 14 years.
Washington College 3 Rutgers-Camden 2 (22-25, 25-15, 18-25, 25-22, 15-6)
How It Happened
- Tied 15-15 in the opening set, the Scarlet Raptors took the lead for good in the first at 16-15 on a Morgan Mulligan kill and clinched the set on a Nicole Long kill.
- The Shorewomen led 9-8 in the second before scoring five straight to take control of the set at 14-8 on an assisted block by Sansanelli and Kowalski. Sansanelli and Kowalski teamed up for another block to end the second set for a 10-point win.
- In the third set, Rutgers-Camden used a 6-1 run to turn a 12-10 lead in an 18-11 cushion on a bad set by the Shorewomen. The Scarlet Raptors ended the set on a finisher by Devyn Cobb.
- Washington won the final three points of the fourth set to break a 22-22 tie and win by three. Lizzie Baden broke the tie on a kill and an attack error by Rutgers-Camden forced a fifth and decisive set.
- The two teams were tied 2-2 in the fifth set when the Shorewomen won nine of the next 10 points to grab an 11-3 lead following a Jenna Daunoras kill. A service error by the Scarlet Raptors ended the match.
For The Shorewomen (3-0)
- Sansanelli (10 kills and career-best 10 blocks for first all-time double-double), Marino (13 kills), Zedlar (contest-best 23 assists and team-high 12 digs), Kowalski (11 kills and four blocks), Hartzell (18 assists).
- Washington had seven aces in the win and 12 blocks.
- Team hit .229 in the win, including .364 in the fifth set.
For Rutgers-Camden (1-2)
- Mulligan (nine kills), Kayla Benesz (14 assists), Brinn Hassan (20 assists and match-best 15 digs), Savannah Hayes (10 digs).
-Scarlet Raptors hit .148 as a team and tallied four aces.
Washington College 3 DeSales 0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-19)
How It Happened
- Squared at 14-14 in the first set, the Shorewomen won 11 of the final 17 points to win the set by seix points. Baden ended the set with a kill as Washington five of the last six in the run.
- Leading 21-19 in the second, WC took four of the final six points to grab the middle set with Marino ending it on a kill.
- DeSales trimmed a 23-16 Washington lead in the third set to 23-19 on a Noel Kelly finisher before the guests scored the last two points to win the set and match. Olivia Portera ended the contest with a service ace.
For The Shorewomen (4-0)
- Marino (nine kills), Kowalski (14 digs to lead all players), Abby Smith (12 digs), Hartzell (17 assists), Zedlar (13 assists), Baden (match-high four blocks).
- Team hit .202 in the contest, notched five rejections and served eight aces.
For DeSales (3-1)
- Natalie Gray (team-high 11 digs), Audrey Wolfe (match-best 30 assists), Grace Merritt (nine kills).
- Bulldogs had a .090 attack percentage, four blocks and two aces.
- Sansanelli is the first Washington player to notch 10 blocks in a match since Laura Shand had 10 rejections against Alvernia in 2004.
- Since Washington started attending the invitational in 2015, the Shorewomen are 15-1 with the lone setback to DeSales in 2016. The Shorewomen have won 45 of 54 sets and have won the invite in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
- The Shorewomen have won five of the nine meetings with the Bulldogs in the all-time series that dates back to 1991.
- Kowalski joins Marino and Jess Daunoras '16 as the three Washington players who have won the MVP of the invitational. Daunoras captured the honor in 2015 and Marino earned the honor last year.
- Washington leads Rutgers-Camden 5-0 in the all-time series in a series that started in 2013.
9/5 at Salisbury – 7:00 p.m.
- The Shorewomen have won the past two meetings with the Sea Gulls, including a 3-0 win in 2015 in the last meeting at Salisbury.