Lyons climb NEWMAC standings following sweep over Mount Holyoke

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's volleyball team moved up the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings following Tuesday's 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-21) victory over visiting Mount Holyoke College in Emerson Gymnasium. 

Winners in eight of their last 10 matches, the Lyons improved to 13-10 overall and 2-4 in league play, while Mount Holyoke slipped to 4-14 and 0-6.  Wheaton went from tied for eighth in the NEWMAC when the night began to tied for sixth.

Sophomore Miranda Howitt (San Francisco, CA/International) paced Wheaton with 11 kills, while senior Lauren Kraus (Westboro, MA/Westboro) notched seven.  Junior Becca Rose (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) handed out 23 assists, dropped down eight service aces and recorded 10 digs.

Freshman Morgan Cooley (Plymouth, MA/Plymouth South) led Mount Holyoke with five kills, while junior Kateryna Kuc (New Haven, CT/Hopkins) had six assists and 10 digs.

With the hosts leading 4-3 in the opening set, consecutive kills from Howitt triggered a 12-1 run to give Wheaton a 16-4 advantage.  The Lyons extended their lead to 14 points four times before Howitt's winning kill provided the Blue and White with an early edge.

Mount Holyoke hung tough in the second set, turning a 9-5 deficit into a 14-12 lead, but Wheaton responded with five unanswered points for a 17-14 edge.  The visitors narrowed their gap to one on two occasions before a 4-0 Wheaton run made it 22-17.  Clinging to a 22-20 lead, the Lyons scored the last three points, including a set-winning ace from junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law).

The final set began with three early ties, but Wheaton used a 5-0 run to take a 10-5 advantage and didn't look back.  Mount Holyoke crept to within 14-12 but came no closer, as the Lyons answered with a 6-1 spurt for a 20-13 advantage.  Holding a 24-21 lead, Wheaton picked up its final point on a visitor miscue.

The Lyons remain at home this Saturday for the four-team Wheaton Invitational, beginning with a 9:00 a.m. match against Emerson College.  The Blue and White is also scheduled to face Rhode Island College at 5:00 p.m. and Gordon College at 7:00 p.m.

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