TOWSON, Md. – Facing a St. Mary's team which entered tonight's match with only two losses, Goucher gave the Seahawks everything they could handle before ultimately dropping a four-set affair at the Decker Sports & Recreation Center.
The Gophers (6-8) fell 23-25, 25-21, 12-25, 22-25 to St. Mary's (8-2) and lost their fifth-straight match overall. Tori Rain (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) led Goucher with a season-high eight kills, 11 digs and four aces, while Addie Lanzarotta (Los Angeles, Calif./Culver City) added eight kills and 10 digs.
Goucher got off to a strong start in the opening set, scoring the first four points and eventually opening up a 15-12 advantage. The Seahawks responded with five-consecutive points to take their first lead, but Goucher rallied to go up 23-22 on a block by Megan Chalk (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and Hannah Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional). St. Mary's, though, scored the next three points to take the set.
The Gophers had a solid beginning to the second set as well, jumping out to leads of 9-5 and 14-10. This time, the Seahawks could not recover, with a kill from Rain evening the match at a set apiece.
After an easy third-set win for St. Mary's, the teams once again battled in a tight fourth set. A block from Kuehl evened the set at 9-9, but the Seahawks responded with a 10-2 run to take a commanding lead. The Gophers fought back, with consecutive aces from Rain trimming the advantage to 24-22, but St. Mary's took the following point to close out the match.
Chalk had seven kills and a season-high 15 digs for Goucher. Corinne Kahler (York, Pa./York Country Day) chipped in seven kills (with a team-best .353 attack percentage) and nine digs, while Sarah Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) tied a season-high with 13 digs and Meredith Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) had a career-high eight digs. Mandy Goodspeed had a career-high 20 kills to lead the Seahawk attack.
For the match, St. Mary's managed a .128 attack percentage while Goucher ended the match at .060.
The Gophers will remain home over the weekend, serving as the host of the six-team Goucher Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Goucher begins tournament play with matches against Frostburg St. (4 p.m.) and Hollins (8 p.m.) on Friday.