Volleyball Splits with Keene State, Lesley in Home Tilt

Volleyball Splits with Keene State, Lesley in Home Tilt

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth hosted Keene State and Lesley on Saturday for a tri-match, falling 3-0 to the Owls in LEC play before resurging for a 3-0 shutout of the Lynx in the nightcap.

The Basics
Scores: Keene State 3, UMass Dartmouth 0 | UMass Dartmouth 3, Lesley 0
Records: Keene State (14-0, 2-0 LEC) | UMass Dartmouth (7-4, 0-2 LEC) | Lesley (5-8, 0-0 NECC)

How it Happened
Keene State 3, UMass Dartmouth 0
The Owls held off the Corsairs in a tightly-contested first set, 25-23, before cruising 25-9 in the second and prevailing 25-19 in the third to remain unbeaten on the season.

Despite the loss, junior Amanda LaCroix (East Freetown, Mass.) rattled off a match-high 13 kills and team-high 10 digs. Freshman Alivia Connors (Derry, N.H.) and sophomore Nicole Silverman (Chelmsford, Mass.) combined for 12 kills, with Silverman converting for a team-high .138 attack percentage.

Senior Rachel Lamica (Malone, N.Y.) powered Keene State with 12 kills on a .379 attack percentage, fueled by Bailey Wilson's (Moorpark, Calif.) 30 assists on the match. Defensively, junior Riley Bunker (Simi Valley, Calif.) held the Owls in play with 21 digs.

UMass Dartmouth gathered an early 4-1 lead in the first and went up as much as five before a Riley Thomas (Fairhaven, Mass.) service ace forced an Owl timeout. Out of the break, a kill and following block by Niamh Dodd (Mahopac, N.Y.) tied the margin at 11. With the match even at 16, the visitors were able to string together three of the next four points and hold off the Corsairs for the remainder of the set.

The Owls then fully discovered their rhythm in the second set, erupting for a .391 team attack percentage and holding UMass Dartmouth to just six kills en route to a 25-9 score. Keene then closed out the match in the third with 14 kills and 22 digs to keep UMass Dartmouth off the board in a 25-19 set.

UMass Dartmouth 3, Lesley 0

The Corsairs recovered in the nightcap for their third 3-0 win in the past four matches, driving past Lesley on the back of sophomore Jillian Sykora's (Waterford, Conn.) season-high 24 digs.

LaCroix finished with 25 kills and a .195 attack percentage, while Connors turned out nine kills on .208 accuracy. Sykora chipped in four assists with Thomas producing a match-high 23.

Lesley's Anni Abbruzzese and Kaylee Deluga generated nine kills apiece, with Deluga hitting .226, fed by Tallin Goldberg's 22 assists.

UMass Dartmouth came from behind to take the first set, overcoming a five-point deficit at 11-16 and steal a 25-22 first set. A kill by LaCroix put the Corsairs within one, 20-19, and Lynx errors left room for UMass Dartmouth to take five of the next six points. Connors ended the match with a final kill down the line.

A match-high 13 kills with just six errors helped the Corsairs to a 25-15 second set, and again the hosts played from behind the start the third. A kill by Deluga put the Lynx up 15-7, forcing a Corsair timeout, but UMass Dartmouth chipped back. Thomas hit back-to-back aces to tie the set at 18, and after the Lynx threatened to extend the match past 25, Connors was there again to place a ball down the line and wrap up the 25-23 margin.

Inside the Numbers

  • On the day, Sykora churned out 31 digs in six sets, averaging 5.17 digs per set for the tri-match.
  • LaCroix hit a team-best .151 with 25 kills, averaging 4.17 per set while tallying 19 digs (3.17 per set) and three service aces.
  • UMass Dartmouth has now won four of the past five meetings with Lesley, while Keene State extends its winning streak over the Corsairs to 13 matches, dating back to 2005.
  • At the net, freshman Tashneal Africa (Chelsea, Mass.) led UMass Dartmouth with four blocks, three solo to up her season total to 16.

Up Next

UMass Dartmouth is idle until next Saturday, when its series of home tri-matches continues. The Corsairs host Framingham State and the University of New England on Sept. 30. Keene State looks to remain unbeaten at Clark on Tuesday, with Lesley hosting St. Joseph (Maine) Monday at 8 p.m.