Golden Bears fall to Pioneers before sweeping Pride
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (September 14, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team split a pair of matches with Smith College and Regis College on Saturday afternoon in a tri-match at Smith's Ainsworth Gym.
Smith 3, WNE 2 (25-22, 18-25, 11-25, 25-11, 15-9)
Senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) led the Golden Bears in the opener with 17 kills, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) tallied 26 assists and eight digs to go with 11 kills on a .600 hitting percentage. Junior Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) and sophomore Taylor Deluga (Dennis, Mass.) paced the defense with 21 and 15 digs, respectively.
Smith freshman middle hitter Ava Zollinger (Orlando, Fla.) powered the Pioneers, hitting .423 with a team-high 15 kills and just four errors in 26 attempts.
After the home team won a tight opening set (25-22), the Golden Bears evened the match with a 25-18 triumph in the second frame, before pulling ahead with a dominant 25-11 performance in set three. The Pioneers hit .300 and .316 over the final two sets, however, and won by scores of 25-11 and 15-9 to take the match.
WNE 3, Regis 0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-19)
Western New England senior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) fueled the Golden Bears' sweep of the Pride, posting a .529 hitting percentage with 11 kills and two errors in 17 attempts. Sibiskie dished out 24 assists, while Deluga compiled 12 digs.
Regis senior Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) recorded a team-high seven kills.
Leading by three (17-14) midway through the opening frame, the Golden Bears were able to gain some separation with a 4-1 run that extended the advantage to six (21-15). Following a WNE service error, the Golden Bears utilized a 3-0 spurt to push the Pride to the brink, before winning the set on a kill by freshman Jackie Shields (Wilmington, Del.).
Western New England raced out to a 9-2 lead in the second set and never looked back, cruising to a 25-12 triump h to open up a 2-0 lead in the match.
Regis held an early 7-6 edge in the third frame, but Western New England surged ahead, winning six of the next eight points to claim a 12-9 advantage. The Golden Bears never allowed the Pride to get closer than three points the rest of the way, as Western New England pulled away down the stretch to seal the 3-0 victory.
Western New England (5-6) returns to action on Wednesday with a non-conference contest at Eastern Connecticut.