Gophers Extend In-State Rivals to Fourth Set

Gophers Extend In-State Rivals to Fourth Set

TOWSON, Md. — After scoring the final four points to pull out the third set and remain alive, Goucher watched Washington (Md.) jump out to a 7-0 advantage in the fourth set. Although the Gophers would get as close as 13-12, the Shorewomen never surrendered the lead and went on to complete a 3-1 victory tonight in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center.

Set scores were 25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-16.

With the score tied at 21-21 in the third set, a service error by the visitors put head coach Kelli Wilkinson's squad ahead by a point. The Gophers (6-9) went on to earn the next three points — two of them on kills by Kelly Budge (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) —to send the match between in-state rivals to a fourth set.

With Audrey Utchen serving, the Shorewomen (9-5) ran off the first seven points of the fourth set to put the home team in a big hole right off the bat. The Gophers nearly erased the entire seven-point deficit, getting as close as 13-12, but they never managed to catch or pass their opponent.

It was Goucher's 16th straight loss to a team from the Centennial Conference.

Budge reached double figures in both kills and digs in tonight's four-set match as the sophomore outside hitter supplied the Gophers with 11 kills and 22 digs, matching her career-high for most digs in a match. Michelle Tweedie (Accra, Ghana/Lincoln Community School) also finished with 11 kills, with four of them coming in the third set.

Meredith Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) was also credited with 22 digs.

Goucher will travel to Kings Point, N.Y. to play two Landmark Conference matches on Saturday. The first will be against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed at 4 p.m. with a match against Scranton.