Western New England Falls to Wheaton & UNE

Photo by Chris Marion
Photo by Chris Marion

Holmes records career-high 17 kills against Nor'easters

NORTON, Mass. (October 13, 2018) – The Western New England University volleyball team was defeated by both Wheaton College and the University of New England during a non-conference tri-match on Saturday at Wheaton's Emerson Gymnasium.

The Golden Bears opened the day with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-21) loss to the Lyons, before falling to the Nor'easters 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 25-16).

Wheaton 3, WNE 0

Top Performers
Junior middle blocker Kierah Parker (Middletown, Conn.) paced the Golden Bears with a team-high ten kills, while sophomore outside hitter Zoe Tatro (Wilbraham, Mass.) added eight kills and 11 digs.

Senior outside hitter Jenna Ferguson (Ellington, Conn.) led all players with 20 digs to go with five kills and two aces.

For Wheaton, freshman outside hitter Adara Hamilton (Mercer Island, Wash.) produced a double-double with 11 kills (.391) and ten digs, while junior setter Becca Houghton (Emmaus, Pa.) finished with 28 assists, six aces, six digs and two blocks.

Game Review
Wheaton got off to a strong start in the first set, as the Lyons opened up an early 8-1 lead. The home team led by the same margin (17-10) later in the frame, but the Golden Bears came roaring back with a 12-4 run to claim a 22-21 edge. Western New England was a point away from taking the set following a kill by sophomore Toni Fiore (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) that gave the Golden Bears a 24-23 lead, but Wheaton won the final three points to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Western New England was in control for the majority of the second set, as the Golden Bears led 10-3 early and 20-13 in the late stages of the frame. The Lyons mounted a comeback from there, eventually pulling ahead 23-22 before earning a 25-23 triumph.

Wheaton led 13-8 in the third set before a 7-0 Western New England run put the Golden Bears in front 15-13. The two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the frame, with Western New England tying the score 19-19 on a kill by Parker. The Lyons pulled ahead for good on a Ferguson attack error, however, and they went on to claim a 25-21 win to complete the sweep.

UNE 3, WNE 1

Top Performers
Junior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) hit .341 with a career-high 17 kills to lead the Golden Bears, while sophomore outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) added ten kills and Ferguson finished with eight kills and 19 digs.

Sophomore setter Jenna McCormack (Nashua, N.H.) reached the 40-assist mark, and freshman Caleigh McDermott (Oakdale, N.Y.) tallied 27 digs.

UNE junior outside hitter Katie Flynn (Merrimack, N.H.) posted a .457 hitting percentage with 16 kills and 15 digs for the Nor'easters. Sophomore outside hitter Molly Camelo (Melrose, Mass.) was also a key contributor with ten kills and 17 digs, while sophomore setter Sydney Christiansen (Palatine, Ill.) posted a 37-assist, 14-dig effort to go with three aces.

Game Review
Neither team was able to build more than a two-point lead in the closely contested opening set, until Western New England went up 21-18 at the conclusion of a 5-0 run late in the frame. The Golden Bears managed to score just two points the rest of the way, however. Trailing 23-20, the Nor'easters posted a 5-0 run of their own to claim a come from behind victory. 

After falling by the same score in the second set, Western New England got on the board with a 25-19 result in the third frame.

UNE surged to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set, however, and the Nor'easters didn't look back on their way to completing the 3-1 win with a 24-17 triumph.

Up Next
Western New England (8-15) will be back on the road on Wednesday night at Wentworth, before returning home to host Endicott next Saturday.