Volleyball Outlasts UMass Boston in Five Sets

Ashley Matthews turned in her second straight 16-kill effort in Western New England's 3-2 win over UMass Boston on Saturday. (Photo by Kieran Lombard)
Ashley Matthews turned in her second straight 16-kill effort in Western New England's 3-2 win over UMass Boston on Saturday. (Photo by Kieran Lombard)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 5, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team overcame an opening set loss to earn a 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 18-25, 15-7) victory over UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
Senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) led all players with a match-high 16 kills on a .324 hitting percentage. Matthews also recorded nine digs and three aces in the win.

Junior outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) registered a double-double with 12 kills and ten digs, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) finished with 37 assists, nine digs and five aces.

UMass Boston freshman Aleks Qose (Athens, Greece) produced a team-high 14 kills for the Beacons. Senior Sarah Doyle (Glendale, Calif.) added ten kills, while junior setter Carsen Komminsk (Worthington, Ohio) tallied 35 assists, 12 digs, three aces and three kills.

Game Review
Despite struggling with an -.033 hitting percentage in the opening set, the Golden Bears were within striking distance late. A McDonnell kill brought Western New England back to within two (23-21), but Doyle responded with a kill for the Beacons, who went on to take a 25-22 win.

Leading 6-5 early in the second set, the Golden Bears used a 7-0 run to take control of the frame en route to a 25-15 triumph that evened the match.

Western New England hit a match-best .310 in the third set with 12 kills and just three errors in 29 attempts. The Golden Bears trailed 14-13 midway through the frame, before posting a 7-0 spurt to open up a 20-14 advantage. UMass Boston fought back to close the gap to two (21-19) late, but the Golden Bears won the next three points with kills from Matthews, McDonnell & junior Toni Fiore (Yorkwown Heights, N.Y.) to push the Beacons to the brink. A Western New England service error kept the Beacons alive, before McDonnell recorded a set-ending kill to give the Golden Bears a 2-1 lead in the match.

Western New England was on its way to closing out the contest in the fourth set, as the Golden Bears led 15-11. UMass Boston surrendered just three points the rest of the way, however, to force a fifth frame with a 25-18 victory.

With an early 5-3 edge in the fifth set, the Golden Bears took control with a 5-0 run that extended the lead to 10-3. Western New England continued to pull away late with a 4-0 run en route to a 15-7, match-clinching win.

Notes
• Matthews has recorded 16 kills in consecutive matches.
• The Golden Bears are 3-4 in five set contests this season.

Up Next
Western New England (9-10) resumes Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play on Tuesday night at Nichols. UMass Boston (4-14) hosts Plymouth State on Wednesday.

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