October 10, 2009

Kraus drops 1,000th kill, Wheaton posts 2-1 mark at UMass-Boston invite

BOSTON, MA- Senior Lauren Kraus (Westboro, MA/Westboro) notched the 1,000th kill of her career on Saturday, and the Wheaton College women's volleyball team won its final six sets to finish 2-1 during the four-team Beacon Invitational at the University of Massachusetts at Boston's Clark Athletic Center. The Blue and White improved to 12-10 on the year.

Wheaton rallied past New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Babson College, 3-2 (23-25, 18-25, 33-31, 26-24, 15-11) before blanking Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 3-0 (25-5, 25-14, 25-10). Wheaton began the day with a 3-0 (13-25, 21-25, 18-25) loss to UMass-Boston, which stands second in the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA) poll and is receiving national votes.

Kraus dropped a kill during the opening set against UMass-Boston, becoming the sixth player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. By finishing with seven for the match, Kraus moved into fifth in school annals. Sophomore Miranda Howitt (San Francisco, CA/International) turned in 11 kills and eight digs, classmate Lauren McGrath (Wading River, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) had four kills, while junior Becca Rose (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) dished out 20 assists and notched five digs. Sophomore Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, CA/Laguna Blanca School) tallied 10 digs.

Wheaton gained a measure of revenge for a five-set loss at Babson on September 22, when it was the Lyons who grabbed a 2-0 lead before falling, by rallying past the Beavers and improving to 7-2 in five-set matches. The Blue and White pulled out a marathon third set and another close decision in the fourth set before completing the comeback. Howitt collected 26 kills and 14 digs, becoming the first Lyon since 2000 to record a pair of 25-kill matches in the same season, as she set a school mark with 33 on September 24. Kraus added 15 kills, while Rose tallied 50 assists, 14 digs and four service aces. Davisson led the defense with 25 digs while dropping three aces, junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) had 17 digs, and McGrath notched six blocks.

Against Massachusetts Maritime, the Lyons totaled 17 aces. Rose finished with seven assists, seven kills and five aces, while Howitt turned in 10 kills, seven assists and six aces. Freshman Rachel Vergara (Needham, MA/Needham) tallied five helpers, Hunt added five digs, and Kraus notched three aces in one set of action.

Wheaton kicks off a five-match homestand on Tuesday when it takes on Mount Holyoke College in a NEWMAC contest at 7:00 p.m.

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