Lyons rally falls short against Smith, 3-2

NORTON, Mass. – Sophomore Rose Drummond (Rye, N.H./Portsmouth) recorded a career-high 26 kills in Smith College's 3-2 win over Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action Tuesday night at Emerson Gymnasium.

Junior Hayley Bezubka (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) dished out a career-high 31 assists for the Pioneers, who improved to 4-2 on the season (1-2 NEWMAC) and 21-12 all-time against Wheaton. Sophomore Lindsay Tebbetts (Gilmanton, N.H./Gilford) notched a team-high 20 kills for the Lyons (2-10, 0-3 NEWMAC).

Wheaton captured game one, 25-22, behind five kills from sophomore Rachel Vergara (Needham, Mass./Needham) and three each from Tebbetts and junior co-captain Christina Cannon (Milford, N.H./Milford). Drummond, along with juniors Blair Bell (Montclair, N.J./Montclair-Kimberly) and Becca Gordon (West Hartford, Conn./Hall), each posted three kills for the Pioneers.

Smith answered by winning game two, 25-18, and game three, 26-24, to grab a 2-1 edge in the match. Drummond combined to post 14 kills in the two wins while Tebbetts tallied nine for the Lyons. Vergara totaled 14 digs in the two games.

Led by Tebbett's eight kills, Wheaton rallied back to win game four, 25-22, and force a fifth and decisive set. Sophomore Marguerite Copeland (Woodbridge, Va./Oldfields School) chipped in with four kills for the Lyons while Drummond had four for Smith. Gordon and sophomore Sibyl Brown (Silver Spring, Md./Montclair Blair) had three kills apiece for the Pioneers.

In the fifth set, Smith posted a .474 hitting pct. and scored a 15-9 win to take the match. The Pioneers were again led by Drummond, who recorded a kill on each of her five attack attempts to finish with a .345 hitting pct. for the match. Vergara had three kills to pace Wheaton.

Junior Olanna Nissim (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) handed out a career-high 51 assists for the Lyons while Vergara was credited with a career-high 26 digs. Senior co-captain Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, Calif./Laguna Beach School) picked up 16 digs for Wheaton while Cannon finished with nine kills and 16 digs. The Lyons finished the match with 13 receiving errors, compared to seven for the visitors.

For the Pioneers, Gordon notched 11 kills (.474 hitting pct.) and three blocks (one solo) while Drummed registered 19 digs. As a team, Smith finished with seven blocks.

The Lyons return to action on Thursday when they travel to Newport, R.I. for a 7 p.m. match with Salve Regina University. The Pioneers compete at the MIT Invitational on Saturday, where they will play Endicott College at 6 p.m. and Tufts University at 8 p.m.

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