NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's volleyball team had visiting Western Connecticut State University on the ropes before suffering a 3-2 (26-28, 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 9-15) setback during Friday's Homecoming festivities in Emerson Gymnasium.
The Lyons fell to 8-15 in enduring their ninth straight loss, while the Colonials won for the fifth time in their last six matches to improve to 21-6.
Wheaton senior Kristen Hunt (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) came within four digs of the 13-year-old school record, finishing with a career-best 43 to take second in program annals. Freshman Jackie Jones (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) matched her season high in kills with 27, which tied for the sixth-highest mark all time, to go alongside her 14 digs.
Senior Becca Rose (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional), who is already the Lyons' all-time assists leader, fell three helpers shy of a career best with 56. That ranked tied for sixth in the program's record books. She also totaled 11 digs.
Sophomore Rachel Vergara (Needham, Mass./Needham) and freshman Lindsay Tebbetts (Gilmanton, N.H./Gilford) added 10 and nine kills, respectively, with Vergara registering 10 digs and Tebbetts notching a season-best five blocks. Junior Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, Calif./Laguna Blanca School) contributed 15 digs.
For Western, sophomore Paxton Thornton (Sharon, Conn./Housatonic Valley Regional) led the hitting attack with 25 kills, while senior Natalie Crosby (East Haven, Conn./East Haven) added 13. Classmate Samantha Hathaway (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) handed out a match-high 60 assists.
Junior Kelley Collins (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) amassed 42 digs, while senior Danielle Spangler (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley) finished with four blocks.
Tonight's match was nip and tuck, as the teams were separated by no more than four points in each of the first four sets. In the opening set, Wheaton pushed out to a 20-14 advantage, but the Colonials battled back to knot the score at 25 before taking the two-point win.
The hosts won the next two sets, overcoming a 17-14 deficit in the second contest. Five ties ensued, with the final one coming at 22-all before the Lyons scored three of the final four points. In a tight third set, the Blue and White turned a 12-10 deficit into a 20-15 lead and didn't look back.
The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair, as the Lyons built a 19-15 lead, but Western used a 10-2 spurt to force a deciding set. The squads were knotted at one, two and three in the final set before the visitors rattled off three straight points en route to a match-ending 12-6 run.
The Lyons head to Cambridge on Tuesday for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at 7:00 p.m.