Wheaton earns first NEWMAC victory with 3-0 sweep over visiting Smith

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's volleyball team snapped a nine-match losing skid to Smith College on Tuesday night, sweeping the Pioneers, 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-17) in Emerson Gymnasium for its initial New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory.

Extending their winning streak to four matches while knocking off Smith for the first time since 2000, the Lyons improved to 9-8 overall and 1-3 in league play. The Pioneers fell to 3-8 and 1-3.

Senior Lauren Kraus (Westboro, MA/Westboro) hit .474 to go alongside her 11 kills, leaving her 12 shy of 1,000 career kills. Sophomores Miranda Howitt (San Francisco, CA/International) and Lauren McGrath (Wading River, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) turned in nine and six kills, respectively, while junior Becca Rose (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) chipped in with 31 assists. Sophomore Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, CA/Laguna Blanca School) posted 16 digs, and junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) notched 15.

Senior Bethany Weiss (Windham, NH/Salem) and junior Laurel Belton (San Bernardino, CA/Aquinas) recorded six kills apiece to lead Smith, while junior Lauren Martinez (Phoenix, AZ/Cortez) handed out 12 assists. Sophomore Courtney Faria (Pocasset, MA/Bourne) added seven assists, and senior Brianne Connizzo (Demarest, NJ/Northern Valley-Demarest) had 14 digs.

Wheaton jumped out in front in set one thanks to strong service from Davisson, who helped lead the Lyons to a 5-1 advantage. Maintaining a four-point lead at 16-12, Wheaton used a 7-0 run to put the set out of reach. The Lyons turned a 3-0 deficit in set two into an 8-7 edge and a lead they wouldn't relinquish, eventually going on a set-ending 14-5 spurt. The hosts also held an 8-7 lead in the third set before using a 10-5 stretch for an 18-12 advantage. With a 24-17 lead, Wheaton found Kraus for the match-ending kill.

The Lyons wrap up their four-match homestand on Friday against Eastern Connecticut State University, taking on the Warriors over Homecoming weekend beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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