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Monarchs Roar Back for 3-2 Win Over North Alabama


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Down two sets to none and trailing 24-21 in the third set, Old Dominion volleyball rallied for a 3-2 comeback win over North Alabama on Saturday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center.

Saturday marked ODU's final match in the DC Showdown, which was co-hosted by Georgetown and George Washington.

"Today's message, from warm up to the final point, was about attitude," said head coach Fred Chao. "To compete we needed to make things more personal with the opponent, rather than just executing a series of skills. I thought we played decent in the first and second, but made errors at unfortunate times. In the third, we had Teresa [Atilano] at the service line and her toughness brought us back. She served where we needed and executed our block scheme. As we gained more confidence we became more resilient, and that carried us through the fifth, despite the tough start."

The match marked the first meeting between the two programs.

ODU 3, North Alabama 2
The Monarchs (5-5) trailed 12-8 in the first set, but a block by Alice Munari and Bailey Burgess capped off a 6-1 swing that put ODU in front, 16-15. The Lions (5-4) pulled ahead 24-22, but Teresa Atilano assisted Munari on a pair of kills to even the score. However, UNA earned the next two points to claim the opening set.

ODU took off with six unanswered points to build a 15-10 lead in the second set, but a 7-0 response allowed North Alabama to overtake the Monarchs at 21-20. A late ODU ball handling error and a UNA kill gave the Lions another set, 25-23.

The Monarchs found themselves up 13-9 in the third set. The Lions would go on an 8-2 stretch to take over at 21-18. UNA looked to clinch the match at 24-21, but the Monarchs dug in. Kills by Elisa Maggi and Myah Conway and two aces from Atilano highlighted a 5-0 run as ODU stayed alive with a 26-24 decision.

ODU led the fourth set from start to finish thanks to a 5-1 start. After the Monarchs pulled away 24-17, the Lions prolonged the set with four-straight points. It wasn't enough though as a Maggi kill sent the match to a fifth set.

In the fifth set, the Monarchs found themselves trailing 5-1, but were able to pull even thanks to a Conway score, two UNA attack errors and an ace by Kate Kilpatrick. A few points later, some more errors by the Lions and back-to-back kills from Munari allowed ODU to take control at 10-7. An attack error by the Lions brought the match to a close as ODU won the decisive set, 15-10.

Several Monarchs turned in their best performances of the season. Conway finished with 21 kills, Maggi was next with 17 and Munari scored 16, all of which marked season highs. Atilano's season best of 55 assists was two shy of her career high. Atilano and Kilpatrick served three aces each and Olivia De Jesus recorded four blocks. Maggi led the back row with 14 digs, Kilpatrick was right behind her with 13, Atilano had 12 and Munari ended up with 10.

ODU outhit UNA, .300 to .268, and also led the Lions in points (89-77), kills (73-58), assists (65-54) and digs (59-48).

Up Next
ODU will be in Morgantown, West Virginia next week for the Mountaineer Invitational. The Monarchs will play the host Mountaineers and Robert Morris on Thursday and North Dakota State on Friday.