SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Sophomore Genny Pezzola recorded 14 kills to break the program record for kills in a single season (372), helping the No.4 seed Garnet (19-9) defeat No. 5 Muhlenberg College 3-1 in the opening round of the Centennial Conference playoffs on Wednesday night from Tarble Pavilion. The Garnet's 3-1 victory over the Mules is its first playoff victory in program history, with the team now moving on to Saturday's semifinal against No. 1 Haverford.
Swarthmore got off to a slow start as the Mules took them down in the first set 25-15 but had yet to get loosened up. The Garnet responded in set two winning it 25-20 with freshman Kat Montemurro hammering three straight aces to end the set. Montemurro finished with a team leading 19 kills in the match.
Sets three and four were a showcase of offensive talent by the Garnet as they dominated the net with 35 kills and only nine errors. Four players posted double digit kills for the Garnet; Montemurro led with 19, Pezzola had 14, freshman Alli Coleman had 12 and senior Johanna Bond had 10. The Swarthmore offense sprinted past the Mules to win sets three and four 25-12 and 25-18.
The Garnet defense played no backseat to the offense in the game, holding the Mules to only 14 kill in sets three and four and recording an amazing 89 digs in the match. Pezzola led the defense with 24 digs followed closely with Coleman's 17.
Swarthmore's first ever playoff victory catapults them to a semifinal match-up against No.1 seed Haverford College on Saturday afternoon at 12 PM. The match will be hosted by Haverford.