Harrisonburg, Va. – The Catholic University of America volleyball team started its season with two victories at the EMU Invitational as they swept host Eastern Mennonite, 3-0, before the Cardinals downed Salem, 3-1.
Senior setter Michelle Seals keyed the offense in both games as she posted a double-double with 33 assists and 12 digs in game one before adding 39 helpers and seven more digs in the second contest.
Freshman outside hitter Patricia Martinez had an impressive start to her Catholic career as she double-dipped twice. Martinez had 15 kills and 16 digs in the EMU victory and then went on to register 17 kills and 13 more digs against Salem.
Catholic held Eastern Mennonite under 20 points in the first two sets of their victory before closing them out in the third, 25-21.
Salem came out strong in the second game as they forced a 24-all tie but a kill by Martinez and a service ace by fellow rookie Maria Gonzalez gave the first set to the Cards. Salem took the second, 25-20, but Catholic came back strong to win by nine in the third set and five in the fourth.
Another freshman was also strong in her debut as rookie libero Christina Ciola had 56 digs over her first two matches to go with six service aces.
Senior Brynn Cooley added to the Catholic attack, especially against Salem as she just missed the double-double with 12 kills and nine digs.
Catholic is back in action tomorrow for the second and final day of the EMU Invite. The Cardinals take on Methodist at 1 p.m., before a game versus Lynchburg at 3 p.m.
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