Western New England Falls to Keene State, 3-0

Junior Cassie Holmes recorded six kills and three blocks in Western New England's 3-0 loss to Keene State on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Cassie Holmes recorded six kills and three blocks in Western New England's 3-0 loss to Keene State on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

McDonnell paces Golden Bears with eight kills

KEENE, N.H. (October 11, 2018) – The Western New England University volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-18) decision to Keene State College on Thursday evening in non-conference action at Spaulding Gym.

Top Performers
Western New England was led by sophomore outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.), who finished with a team-high eight kills, eight digs and two aces.

Junior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) added six kills and three blocks, while sophomore Toni Fiore (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) chipped in with five kills.

Keene State senior middle blocker Niamh Dodd (Mahopac, N.Y.) produced a match-high 12 kills for the Owls, and sophomore Megan Palmer (East Islip, N.Y.) contributed with eight kills and nine digs.

Game Review
Western New England, which fell behind 10-5 early in the first set, eventually pulled ahead 19-17 late in the frame. The Owls used a 3-0 run to reclaim a 20-19 edge, however, before responding to a kill by Fiore with a 5-0 run to end the set.

Keene State also opened the second set strong, as the Owls led 7-2 before a 6-1 Western New England run evened the frame at 8-8. The Owls surged back ahead with an 8-2 run to claim a 16-10 advantage, but the Golden Bears again fought back and closed to within three (19-16). Western New England would get no closer, as the Owls won the final six points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the final set, Western New England got off to its best start (6-1) of the night and led 14-11 following a kill by McDonnell. Keene State took control from there, however, as the Owls won four straight points to pull ahead (15-14) and 14 of the final 18 points overall to complete the sweep.

Notes
• Western New England hit just .065 for the match, while Keene State posted a .277 attack percentage, including a .438 clip in the third set.
• McDonnell's 87 kills this season rank fifth on the team. The sophomore has recorded 46 kills over her last five matches.
• Senior Jenna Ferguson (Ellington, Conn.) and freshman Caleigh McDermott (Oakdale, N.Y.) led the Golden Bears defensively with ten digs each.

Up Next
Western New England (8-13) travels to Norton, Mass. on Saturday for a tri-match at Wheaton College with the Lyons and the University of New England. Keene State (18-5) takes on Western Connecticut State and SUNY Potsdam on Saturday in a tri-match at WestConn.