September 19, 2009

Lyons split home tri-match, gut out five-set win over Bridgewater State

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's volleyball team went 1-1 on Saturday during a tri-match in Emerson Gymnasium, downing visiting Bridgewater State College, 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 15-8) after falling to the United States Coast Guard Academy, 3-0 (18-25, 12-25, 23-25) in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play.

In the middle match, Coast Guard remained undefeated with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-21) win over Bridgewater State. The Lyons moved to 5-7 overall and 0-2 in the league during the day, while Coast Guard increased its record to 8-0 and 2-0. Bridgewater State is 2-5.

Against Coast Guard, sophomore Miranda Howitt (San Francisco, CA/International) neared a double-double with 10 kills and eight digs, while senior Lauren Kraus (Westboro, MA/Westboro) notched seven kills. Junior Becca Rose (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) turned in 29 assists, while classmate Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) and sophomore Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, CA/Laguna Blanca School) had 14 digs apiece.

During the opening set, 9-9 proved to be the eighth tie before Coast Guard used a 6-0 run and never again led by fewer than three points. The visitors strung together another 6-0 run to blow open a 5-3 second set before the Lyons provided a tough challenge in the third set. After Wheaton pulled out to a 14-8 advantage, Coast Guard called a timeout before coming back to take the lead by as many as three points. The Lyons rallied to knot the score at 23, but the Bears tallied the final two points, winning the match on an ace.

Kraus dropped 20 kills while adding four blocks against Bridgewater State, Howitt had 13 kills and four aces, and sophomore Lauren McGrath (Wading River, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) turned in 11 kills and six blocks. Rose notched 42 assists, while she, Davisson and freshman Olanna Nissim (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) had 13 digs apiece. Nissim added five aces, and Hunt tallied a team-high 21 digs.

In the opening set, a 10-3 run gave the Lyons a 13-11 lead before the Bears rallied to go on top for good at 19-18. McGrath provided two blocks and a kill over the final three points of a closing 6-0 second-set run to lift Wheaton before the teams battled through 10 ties in the third set, when the hosts took the final lead at 19-18 and Kraus buried a kill to clinch the win. The Blue and White nearly closed out the Bears in four, but the visitors turned a 19-13 deficit into victory with a 12-4 run. After five ties left the teams knotted at five in the final set, a 10-3 jaunt carried the Lyons to the match triumph, with Kraus notching two kills and a block in that time.

Wheaton is back in action on Tuesday at NEWMAC foe Babson College at 7:00 p.m.

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