Bullets Strike for Two as Blair Hits Milestone

GETTYSBURG, Pa.  – Senior Stephanie Blair (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) recorded her 3,000th career assist and Gettysburg College tacked on two more victories during a tri-match inside Bream Gym on Saturday.
Gettysburg (18-2, 4-1 CC) suffered a 25-11 setback to Haverford College (12-8, 1-4 CC) in the opener, but the Bullets stormed back to take the final three sets 27-25, 25-14, and 25-20 in the Centennial Conference affair. The hosts closed the day with a non-conference win over Manhattanville College (10-6) in three sets 25-17, 25-12, and 26-24.
Gettysburg battled back in the opening match against Haverford and persevered through a tightly-contested second set. The second frame featured 14 ties and seven lead changes with Haverford poised to win after taking a 25-24 lead. A kill by senior Maddie Weikert (Gettysburg, Pa./Gettysburg) switched momentum back to the hosts and freshman Allie Stranick (Havertown, Pa./Havertown, Pa./Merion Mercy) polished off the victory with back-to-back kills.
The Bullets led throughout the third set before another pitched battle in the fourth. The Fords took a 14-13 lead, but a kill be senior setter Stephanie Blair (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) tied the set and a block by Blair and classmate Lauren Godshalk (West Chester, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) put Gettysburg in front to stay.
Sophomore Kasey Higgins (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) tied her personal high with 16 kills and Weikert finished with 10 kills and 14 digs. Sophomore Caroline Sequeira (Millington, N.J./Watchung Hills) posted a career-high 30 digs. Stranick finished with eight kills, three aces, and 13 digs.
Blair tallied 37 assists, two aces, and nine digs. She became the fifth Gettysburg player to record 3,000 career assists, and the first in eight years. Blair also became one of four Bullets with 3,000 assists and 1,000 digs in a career.
Gettysburg dominated the opening two sets against Manhattanville, pounding down 33 kills and benefitting from 13 hitting errors by the Valiants. Manhattanville made a run in the final set and jumped in front 24-23. A service error handed the ball back to the Bullets and back-to-back kills by freshman Maddie Buerle (New Providence, N.J./Union Catholic) and Shannon Fletcher (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) slammed the door.
Weikert posted 10 kills and eight assists, while Fletcher came up with nine kills and four blocks. Higgins added seven kills. Sequeira put up 17 digs, while sophomore Melissa Tringali (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) came up with 11. Blair dished out 29 assists and totaled 15 digs.
Gettysburg visits Franklin & Marshall College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.