SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 19, 2019) – Playing in its final tri-match of the season, the Western New England University volleyball team split contests with Colby-Sawyer College and Westfield State University on Saturday afternoon at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. The Golden Bears opened the day with a three-set loss (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) to the Chargers, before rebounding with a 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19) victory over Westfield State.
Colby-Sawyer 3, WNE 0
Junior outside hitter Hailey McDonnell (Methuen, Mass.) paced the Golden Bears with eight kills and seven digs in the opener, while senior middle blocker Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) and junior middle blocker Abigail Bundy (Lebanon, Conn.) added seven and five kills, respectively.
Colby-Sawyer was led by sophomore outside hitter Sam Mohammed (Killingworth, Conn.), who hit .400 with a match-high 13 kills, three aces and seven digs. Senior middle blocker Naarah Cox (Boston, Mass.) posted a .429 attack clip with an 11 kills for the Chargers.
Colby-Sawyer, which hit a match-best .355 in the opening frame, trailed 12-10 early before taking control of the set with an 11-2 run en route to a 25-18 victory.
The Golden Bears held a 12-6 advantage in the second set, before the Chargers surged ahead with Mohammed at the service line, winning seven straight points to claim a 13-12 edge. The score remained close down the stretch, but the visitors were able to secure the final two points following a 23-23 tie to open up a 2-0 set lead.
In the third and final frame, Colby-Sawyer utilized a 10-1 run midway through the set to build a 20-12 lead. The Golden Bears were unable to recover as the Chargers completed the 3-0 sweep.
WNE 3, Westfield State 1
Holmes again played a key role offensively in Western New England's second contest of the day, hitting .346 with a match-high 14 kills and three block assists. Senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.) produced 13 kills and ten digs in her return to the lineup, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) compiled 44 assists, 12 digs, three kills and three blocks (one solo). Additionally, junior right side hitter Toni Fiore (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) chipped in with ten kills on a .350 hitting percentage.
Westfield State was led by senior Cait Medeiros (Acushnet, Mass.), who finished with nine kills and 14 digs.
Trailing 20-18 late in the opening set, the Golden Bears rallied with a 7-0 run to capture the frame with the help of two kills from Holmes and one each from Sibiskie and Matthews.
After dropping the second set 25-21, Western New England used a 4-0 spurt early in the third frame to establish a 10-6 lead. The Golden Bears remained in front the rest of the way and held off the Owls down the stretch to regain a 2-1 set lead.
Western New England pulled ahead early in the fourth frame and continued to add to its lead midway through the set. The Golden Bears led by as much as seven (22-15) before eventually closing out the match with a six-point triumph.
Western New England (12-12) travels to Wenham, Mass. for a CCC match at Gordon College on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.