BOSTON, Mass. (September 28, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team split a pair of matches with Norwich University and Suffolk University on Saturday afternoon during a tri-match at Suffolk's Larry E. and Michael S. Smith Court. The Golden Bears defeated the Cadets, 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-14, 25-17), before falling to the Rams, 3-2 (17-25, 25-18, 25-18, 14-25, 15-13).
Western New England 3, Norwich 1
Senior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with a match-high 14 kills against Norwich, while junior outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) finished with nine kills and ten digs.
Norwich utilized a balanced offensive attack as junior Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Michele Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) recorded 11 kills each, and junior Julia Schroeder (Victorville, Calif.) added ten kills.
The first set was close, as neither team was able to build more than a three-point lead until the Cadets posted a 4-0 run to open up a 20-15 advantage. Western New England battled back to close the gap to one (24-23) late in the frame, but a kill by Farnum gave Norwich the win.
With the second set tied 5-5, the Golden Bears won six straight points to open up an 11-5 lead and never looked back. Western New England, which extended its cushion to 11 (20-9), withstood a 5-1 Norwich spurt that closed the gap to seven (21-14), before taking the final four points to even the match 1-1.
The Golden Bears raced out to a 9-0 lead in the third set and led by as much as 12 (15-3) before settling for another 25-14 triumph.
Western New England again started strong in the fourth frame, as the Golden Bears won the first nine points of the set and held off the Cadets down the stretch to seal the 3-1 triumph.
Suffolk 3, Western New England 2
McDonnell posted a double-double in the second match of the day with 12 kills and 14 digs, while Holmes contributed nine kills and six block assists.
Suffolk junior Hannah Fabiano (Litchfield, N.H.) produced ten kills and ten digs for the Rams.
Trailing 6-5 in the opening set, the Golden Bears used a 7-2 run to claim a 12-8 lead, which forced a Suffolk timeout. The Rams were never able to overcome that deficit, as Western New England stretched its advantage to six (21-15) later in the frame en route to a 25-17 win.
Suffolk responded with consecutive 25-18 set victories to take a 2-1 lead in the match. With their backs against the wall in the fourth set, the Golden Bears won the first seven points and led 11-1 early. Suffolk was able to pull to within seven (20-13) late, before Western New England closed out the frame with five straight points to force a fifth set.
The Golden Bears carried their momentum into the deciding set, as they built an early 5-1 lead with the help of three Suffolk errors and kills from senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) and Holmes. The Rams answered with a 7-0 surge, however, to pull ahead 8-5. Western New England got to within one on two occasions late in the set, but the Golden Bears were unable to overcome Suffolk's run earlier in the frame as Fabiano put away the match-sealing kill for the home team.
Western New England (7-10, 0-1 CCC) returns home to host Curry College in a CCC contest on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.