DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was upended in a pair of 3-1 matches on Saturday, falling to Framingham State and the University of New England in the Corsairs' third-straight tri-match at the Tripp Athletic Center.
Scores: Framingham State 3, UMass Dartmouth 1 | UNE 3, UMass Dartmouth 1
Records: UMass Dartmouth (7-6) | Framingham State (6-11) | UNE (6-10)
How it Happened
Framingham State 3, UMass Dartmouth 1
Errors ultimately doomed the Corsairs in the opener, which the Rams claimed 3-1 after surrendering the first set to UMass Dartmouth in a tight affair.
Sophomore Nicole Silverman (Chelmsford, Mass.) generated 16 kills on a .250 attack percentage with 20 digs, coupled with junior Amanda LaCroix's (East Freetown, Mass.) match-high 17 kills. Both were fed by freshman Riley Thomas' (Fairhaven, Mass.) career-high 41 assists.
The Rams' Abbie Badgett (Boston, Mass.) and Brandey Rodriguez (Lawrence, Mass.) totaled 11 kills apiece on Mackenzie Whalen's (Norton, Mass.) 37 assists, with both hitters posting .200-plus attack percentages.
UMass Dartmouth began strong, committing just one attack error in the first set with 16 kills for a 25-21 point. LaCroix and Silverman were both perfect on the attack, combining for 11 kills as the Corsairs hit .469 as a unit.
The Rams then steadily climbed back, capitalizing on UMass Dartmouth's blunders to take the next three sets and the game. Vicki Anderson's (Attleboro, Mass.) 14 digs kept the Corsairs off the board in a 25-22 second set, and the Rams suffered just nine errors in the final two sets to the hosts' 17 to take the final two points by 25-21 and 25-18 margins.
For the match, UMass Dartmouth outdid the Rams on accuracy (.177 attack percentage to .119) and gathered seven more assists, but committed 12 service errors with Framingham State recording just three.
UNE 3, UMass Dartmouth 1
The high-powered Nor'easter offense managed UMass Dartmouth in both teams' second match, with the visitors recording a cumulative .220 attack percentage for a 3-1 victory.
LaCroix bore the load offensively, totaling 15 of the Corsairs' 33 kills, with sophomore defensive specialist Meghan Mullinax (Lake Balboa, Calif.) firing a match-high five service aces while digging 14 balls. Classmate Jillian Sykora (Waterford, Conn.) led all players with 22 digs.
The UNE duo of Sydney Christiansen (Palatine, Ill.) and Bekah Mather (Welches, Ore.) combined for 23 kills, with Christiansen converting on 11 of 20 attempts (.450). Kristen Falcinelli (Silver Spring, Md.) led the Nor'easters in both digs (17) and assists (21).
UNE's lead started with a 25-16 first set that saw UMass Dartmouth record just five kills, before the Corsairs caught up to the pace and forced extra points in the second set. Mullinax opened up a 5-0 start for the Corsairs with three service aces before the Nor'easters tied the set at 11 and edged out a 27-25 point.
UMass Dartmouth pushed even further in the third set, this time succeeding with a 28-26 win. With UNE up 23-20, back-to-back kills from freshman Alivia Connors (Derry, N.H.) and a Mullinax ace evened the score. The Corsairs matched the visitors for the next two points, eventually earning a perfectly-placed kill by Silverman for a one-point lead before the set-clinching ace by Connors.
In the final set, UNE strung together its best attack set yet, hitting .316 and again permitting just five UMass Dartmouth kills to finish off the game.
Inside the Numbers
- Silverman closed her day with 3.00 kills per set and 3.38 digs per set, adding in a pair of block assists.
- LaCroix led all Corsairs with 4.00 kills per set on a .165 attack percentage with 16 digs.
- Connors chipped in six solo blocks, three in each match for her single-match career high.
- Mullinax sets a new career-high with her five service aces against the Nor'easters and totaled just one dig shy of her career high of 15.
- The Rams are now winners of seven-straight against UMass Dartmouth, with UNE earning its second-straight win as the two programs had not met since 2013.
Little East Conference play continues on Tuesday, with the Corsairs traveling to UMass Boston for a 6 p.m. start. Framingham State is at Mount Holyoke on Thursday at 7 p.m. and UNE is at Curry on Wednesday for a CCC matchup at 6 p.m.