DUDLEY, Mass. (October 7, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team extended its winning streak to a season-high three matches with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 28-26) victory over Nichols College on Tuesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Nichols Athletic Center.
Western New England was led by senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.), who produced a match-high 14 kills to go along with ten digs. Junior outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) added eight kills and 11 digs, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) finished with 30 assists, 11 digs, five kills and two block assists.
For the Bison, sophomore outside hitter Jayleen Fegan (Mansfield Center, Conn.) and freshman middle hitter Chardae Saunders (Hartford, Conn.) totaled seven kills each. Sophomore setter Rachael Veilleux (Wrentham, Mass.) compiled 23 assists and 12 digs.
Trailing 16-15 in the opening set, the Golden Bears utilized a 5-0 run that was fueled by three kills from Matthews to open up a 20-16 advantage. The Bison, who faced a 21-17 deficit shortly after, posted a 4-0 spurt to even the score. The frame featured one more tie (22-22) before Western New England won the final three points to close it out.
The Golden Bears took their first lead of the second set (13-12) on a kill by Sibiskie, but the Bison held a 15-14 edge after winning three of the next four points. Western New England surged ahead with another key 5-0 run, claiming a 19-15 lead, and Nichols was unable to recover as the Golden Bears took a 2-0 set lead.
The two teams went back and forth in the third set with a series of runs, as Western New England trailed by as much as six (17-11) before eventually tying the frame (22-22) on a kill by senior Maria Duffy (Meriden, Conn). The Golden Bears had the Bison on the brink on a couple of occasions late in the frame, as Western New England led 24-23 and 25-24, but both times Nichols was able to stay alive. The Bison took their final lead (26-25) on a kill by sophomore Regan Richard (Wolcott, Conn.), but the Golden Bears wouldn't be denied, as they took the final three points on a service error, a kill by Matthews and a kill by senior Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) to complete the sweep.
• Western New England hit .219 overall with a match-best .433 attack clip in the second set.
• Matthews has recorded 46 kills during Western New England's season-best three-match winning streak, her most over any three-game stretch this season.
Western New England (10-10, 2-1 CCC) travels to Mount Holyoke on Friday night, while Nichols (8-8, 0-4 CCC) hosts Becker on Thursday.