SAINT LEO, Fla. – If today was any example of how the 2011 season is going to be, the Saint Leo volleyball team will be turning heads as the Lions nearly pulled off a stunner, falling to Grand Valley State 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-15, 15-12) in the nightcap of day one at the 2011 Saint Leo Lion Classic. Earlier in the day the Lions claimed a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 25-18) win over Shippensburg to start 2011 in a proper manner playing in front of the home fans.
The match against Grand Valley State (2-0) saw the Lions unable to capitalize on a 2-1 advantage as they rode an emotional high from a raucous opening-day crowd into the fourth game. The visiting Lakers managed to regroup and push to consecutive wins in games four and five.
It would be a deciding game that saw the Lions (1-1) rally from an 8-5 deficit to knot the score at 9-9, but untimely errors and clutch GVSU kills gave the visitors the win.
Senior Danielle Bletso showed up big with 19 kills and two blocks while Megan Donovon added seven. Appearing to take command of the setter role, Alexa Reed notched 34 assists and Emily Calderon-Reyes returned to the lineup and scooped 16 opponent attacks.
The early match saw Saint Leo open the season with an exclamation point behind Bletso's 15 kills and Donovan's 13 successful attacks. Reed had 36 helpers and Calderon-Reyes added 24 digs.
The Lions will try to rebound when they face New Haven and St. Edwards in Day Two of the Lion Classic. Saint Leo gets things started bright-and-early with a 10:00 a.m. match against St. Edward's. They close out the tournament with a 5:00 p.m. match against New Haven. For the latest news, information, and updates on Saint Leo Volleyball, visit SaintLeoLions.com.
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