WASHINGTON - The 13th annual Worthington Classic got underway here Friday in the Field House as Gallaudet University played host to seven visiting teams. The host Bison split its two matches it played on the opening day of the two-day tournament.
Gallaudet (4-14, 1-2 NEAC) won its opening match against North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) foe Penn St.-Abington (6-12) as the Bison won in straight sets; 25-16, 25-14, 25-18. The match counts as a conference game as GU picks up its first NEAC win of the season while Abington drops to 1-2 in the conference.
Juniors Karita Lewis (Frederick, Md.) and Elina Rubinshteyn (Austin, Texas) led the way with eight kills each. Lewis added nine digs and three aces as well. Sophomore Mia Upchurch (Austin, Texas) had a match best 13 digs and two aces. Freshman Demi Bingham (Jefferson, Md.) passed out 29 assists to go with nine digs and two aces.
in the nightcap, Gallaudet went toe-to-toe with SUNY Cortland before the Bison fell in four sets; 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 21-25. GU almost won the third set, which would of shifted the momentum in favor of the buff and blue but the visiting Red Dragons (16-5) held off the fast-charging Bison.
Lewis had a match-high 16 kills and 12 digs for a double-double. Rubinshteyn and freshman Cassidy Perry (Frederick, Md.) tallied 10 kills each. Upchurch made 36 digs while Bingham passed out 39 assists to go with 16 digs, five kills and two aces.
Gallaudet is back in action tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 28) at noon as the Bison take on Marymount (Va.) University on the second day of the Worthington Classic. GU will then play at 2 or 4 p.m. depending on its final pool play record.