Volleyball Edges Framingham State in Five Sets

Senior Ashley Matthews recorded a career-high 20 kills in Western New England's 3-2 win over Framingham State on Tuesday night. (Photo by Chris Marion)
Senior Ashley Matthews recorded a career-high 20 kills in Western New England's 3-2 win over Framingham State on Tuesday night. (Photo by Chris Marion)

Ashley Matthews produces career-high 20 kills for Golden Bears

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (September 10, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team outlasted Framingham State University, 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 15-9) on Tuesday evening in non-conference action at the FSU Athletic Center.

Top Performers
The Golden Bears were led by senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.), who produced a career-high 20 kills with three aces for a match-high 23 points.

Senior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) added nine kills and three blocks, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) contributed a strong all-around effort with 35 assists, 13 digs, four aces, four kills and four blocks.

Freshman libero Emily Musso (Wallingford, Conn.) paced the Golden Bears defensively with 22 digs.

For the Rams, sophomore outside hitter Brandee Thomas (North Kingstown, R.I.) accounted for 17 kills and six digs. Freshman setter Natalie Reid (North Attleboro, Mass.) compiled 22 assists, 14 digs and six kills, while sophomore libero Alyssa Cafarelli (Peoria, Ariz.) led all players with a match-high 32 digs.

Game Review
Western New England pulled ahead early in the opening set and led by as much as seven (14-7), before the home team surged ahead with a 9-0 run. The Golden Bears regained the lead later in the set (18-17) on a kill by Matthews, and the two teams went back and forth down the stretch with Framingham State prevailing on a pair of WNE errors.

The Golden Bears trailed 10-6 early in the second frame, before using a 7-0 spurt midway through the set to open up a 17-12 advantage. The Rams were able to close the gap to two (20-18), but they would get no closer as WNE took the set 25-20 to even the match at 1-1.

The third set was a back and forth affair, as Western New England raced out to an 11-3 lead and later fell victim to an 8-0 run that saw Framingham State claim a 16-13 advantage. The Golden Bears took control by winning eight of the next ten points, however, on their way to a 25-22 triumph.

Needing a fourth set win to extend the match, the Rams posted a 7-1 run midway through the frame to establish an 18-12 cushion. After WNE pulled to within two (18-16), the home team responded by winning the next six points in an eventual 25-17 victory.

In the fifth and final set, the Golden Bears held the momentum early as they built a 6-2 advantage. Framingham State won the next four points to tie it up, before Western New England put together a key 8-1 run that culminated in a pair of aces from Matthews. Leading 14-9, Sibiskie set up sophomore Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) for the match-sealing kill.  

Notes
• Western New England hit a match-best .278 in the decisive set, recording six kills with just one error in 18 attempts.
• Matthews has recorded 10+ kills in all but one match this season, and her 91 kills lead the team.
• The Golden Bears and Rams have now gone to five sets in consecutive seasons, with FSU claiming a 3-2 victory last September in Springfield.

Up Next
Western New England (3-5) returns home to host Sage on Thursday night at 7 p.m., while Framingham State (1-4) travels to Dean on Thursday for a 6 p.m. matchup.