Willimantic, Conn.—The Western New England women's volleyball team fell on the road to Eastern Connecticut State University 3-1 (25-13, 19-25,25-13, 25-18) on Wednesday evening in Geissler Gymnasium.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) led the Golden Bears offense with a double-double of 11 kills and 15 digs. Senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) finished with 23 assists, 12 digs, and five kills. Junior right-side hitter Toni Fiore (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and senior middle hitter Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) contributed six and five kills, respectively.
The Warriors were paced by the play of junior outside hitter Abby Stern (Manchester, Conn.) and sophomore middle hitter Anna Barry (Andover, Conn.). Stern totaled 17 kills on .519 hitting percentage. Stern added 18 kills and nine digs, while junior outside hitter Alaetra Long (Lincoln, NE) contributed seven kills and 13 digs. Senior setter McKenzie Maneggia (Andover, Conn.) facilitated the Warrior offense with 25 assists to go along with 20 digs.
Eastern Connecticut jumped out to a commanding 21-9 lead in the first set. Western New England would get it within ten points, until junior right-side Lauren Notholt (Milford, Conn.) finished off the set with a kill.
Western New England bounced back well in the second set. The biggest Golden Bear lead was 18-14 when sophomore defensive specialist Caleigh McDermott (Oakdale, N.Y.) aced a serve. Stern would bring the set closer, but the Warriors would fall short, 25-19. The Warriors couldn't get anything going offensively with a .031 hitting percentage.
In the third set, Eastern would respond with a hitting percentage of .344 and rattle off 11 unanswered points. A Matthews kill assisted by Sibiskie would make the score 16-8, but that is as close as WNE would get and the Warriors would ride to 25-13 set victory.
In the fourth set, Eastern Connecticut would again jump out early, this time to a 10-2 start. Western New England would slim the margin to just 19-15 after an ace from Matthews, but the Warriors would make get kills from Long and Barry to coast to a 25-18 set and match victory.
- This match was Sibiskie's 10th game of 20 or more assists.
- In the second set, Western New England edged Eastern Connecticut in kills, 13-9.
Western New England (5-7) will look to bounce back when they travel to Worcester St on Saturday, September 21 at 1pm. Eastern Connecticut (4-4) will face UMass-Dartmouth on the road on Friday, September 20 at 7 pm.