Golden Bears Drop Final Two Matches at Kean Invitational

Junior Ashley Matthews totaled 11 kills and 11 digs as Western New England fell to Rivier and Vassar on Sunday at the Kean University Invitational.
Junior Ashley Matthews totaled 11 kills and 11 digs as Western New England fell to Rivier and Vassar on Sunday at the Kean University Invitational.

Western New England falls to Rivier (3-1) & Vassar (3-0)

UNION, N.J. (September 2, 2018) – The Western New England University volleyball team dropped its final two matches at the Kean University Invitational on Sunday at Harwood Arena.

The Golden Bears suffered a 3-1 (15-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-6) setback to Rivier in the morning, before falling 3-0 (25-20, 25-7, 25-18) to Vassar in the afternoon match.

Rivier 3, WNE 1

Top Performers
Sophomore middle blocker Toni Fiore (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) paced the Golden Bears with eight kills, just one shy of matching her career high.

Senior Jenna Ferguson (Ellington, Conn.) and juniors Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) and Kierah Parker (Middletown, Conn.) had six kills each, while sophomore Jenna McCormack (Nashua, N.H.) recorded 19 assists. Matthews was named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of Sunday's action. 

Rivier junior Taylor Dunster (Sutton, Mass.) produced a match-high nine kills, and senior setter Hayley Macken (Clifton Park, N.Y.) led all players in both assists (25) and digs (14).

Game Review
The Golden Bears got off to a strong start, hitting .303 with 13 kills and just three errors in 33 attempts en route to a 25-15 triumph in the first set. 

Rivier bounced back with a 25-20 win in the second frame to even the match, before overcoming a 24-16 deficit in set three with ten straight points. The Raiders took control early in the fourth set and never looked back to complete the 3-1 win.

Vassar 3, WNE 0

Top Performers
Matthews compiled a team-best five kills in the final match of the weekend, while freshman Kiana Turner (South Hadley, Mass.) posted her second straight 10-dig effort and McCormack finished with 11 assists and seven digs.

Vassar was led by senior Devan Gallagher (San Francisco, Calif.), who hit .423 with a match-high 13 kills, four aces and three digs.

Game Review
Western New England led as late as 17-16 on a Matthews ace during the tightly contested opening set, but the Brewers scored five of the final six points of the frame to come away with the win. 

Vassar established an early 8-1 advantage in the second set and cruised to a 25-7 victory, before using a 6-0 run midway through the third frame to take control in an eventual 25-18 win.

Up Next
Western New England (0-4) will look to pick up its first win of the 2018 season on Wednesday night, when the Golden Bears host Connecticut College at the Alumni Healthful Living Center for their home opener at 7 p.m.