WASHINGTON — Returning to the site of its upset victory over Catholic on Tuesday, Goucher could not replicate that success this afternoon, with the Gophers dropping Landmark matches to Scranton and Merchant Marine.
With the defeats, Goucher's record now stands at 7-10 overall, including a 1-2 mark in conference play. Set scores in the opening defeat to the Royals were 20-25, 18-25, 15-25. The Gophers fell to the Mariners 26-24, 19-25, 14-25, 21-25.
Goucher and Scranton (14-7, 2-0 Landmark) were leveled up at 15 in the opening set after three straight errors from the Royals. The Gophers, though, dropped the next six points and were unable to recover. Goucher also held a 13-12 advantage in the final set before a 13-2 run from Scranton ended the match.
The Gophers finished with only 14 kills, led by four apiece from Kelly Budge (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) and Corinne Kahler (York, Pa./York Country Day). Meredith Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) registered a team-high 13 digs.
Merchant Marine (12-3, 1-2 Landmark) had never defeated Goucher in seven previous tries since the formation of the Landmark Conference in 2007, and the Gophers had won 21 of 23 sets in those matchups.
They added another set to that streak to start this afternoon's matchup. The Mariners were up 16-11 early on, but Goucher soon rallied to tie the score up at 19. The teams went back-and-forth for the next 10 points, and the score remained tied up at 24. A Kahler kill and a block from Hannah Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional) helped the Gophers clinch an early lead.
Goucher held a 12-11 edge midway through the second set as well, but that would be its last advantage in the set. Merchant Marine scored the final four points in the second set, and the Mariners never trailed in a dominant 11-point win in the third set.
The Gophers jumped out 15-11 in set four. Merchant Marine, however, claimed the next seven points and a Goucher block error eventually finished off the match.
Kahler led the offensive attack with 10 kills, while Kuehl and Michelle Tweedie (Accra, Ghana/Lincoln Community School) each added nine. Meredith Johnson had a career-high 28 digs, the most for any Gopher player in a four-set match since Kristen Courage managed 30 against Stevenson on Oct. 7, 2011. Erika DiPasquale (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) also cracked double figures with 11 digs.
Goucher returns to the Decker Sports & Recreation Center for its next matchup, a 7 p.m. tilt against McDaniel on Wednesday.