WORCESTER, Mass. - Amari King's (Lawrence, Mass.) double-double of 16 kills and 25 digs assisted the Worcester State Lancers in a 3-1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-11, 25-18) Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) win over Westfield State in the league opener Tuesday evening.
September 12, 2017
Score: Worcester State 3, Westfield State 1
Records: Worcester State (4-4, 1-0 MASCAC), Westfield State (2-6, 0-1 MASCAC)
Worcester State and Westfield State kept the attack level until Westfield State jumped ahead on attack errors from Worcester State and kills from junior Brianna Starkey (Rockland, Mass.). Worcester State bounced back on kills from King and Stephanie Chapin (Hampden, Mass.) to close the gap to one. However, the Owls pushed ahead on a kills from Karolyn Higgins (Billerica, Mass.) and Jess Haradon (Mansfield, Mass.), along with a service ace from Lizzie Taylor (Medfield, Mass.). Worcester was able to get within two once again, but Westfield finished off the 25-21 win on a Worcester attack error and Starkey's fifth kill of the set. The Owls logged a .135 attack percentage, in comparison to Worcester's .081 effort in the set.
Westfield began the second set with a 3-0 run, however, Worcester State came back with a 5-0 run on kills from Emily Carens (Northborough, Mass.) and Chapin to take the 2-point advantage. Westfield State tied it up at 10-all on a Brigid Murray (Norfolk, Mass.) service ace and took a two-point lead on a kill from Ainsley MacLeod (Hampden, Mass.) and a Worcester ball handling error. The last tie was at 13-13 until Worcester state closed out the set with a 12-3 run for the 25-15 score.
Worcester State saw its best attack percentage of the night in the third set at .417 as King, Chapin, and Carens guided the offense with 5-5-4 kills each, respectively. The Lancers began the third set with a 5-1 run, and did not allow the Owls to get within less than four throughout the remainder of the set.
The Lancers' Carens and Allie Nolan (Melrose, Mass.) connected on the first three points in the final set to give the Lancers a quick 3-0 lead. The Owls kept the distance until Worcester scored six consecutive points to up the score to 18-9. Westfield attempted to rally when they got within four late into the set, though, attack errors and a kill from King gave the Lancers the 25-18 win. Eight of Worcester's 13 blocks came in the final set.
DIG THE DIGITS
- Worcester State registered a .216 team attack percentage, while Westfield State was held to a .084 attack.
- The Blue and Gold held a 56-32 margin in total kills.
- The Lancers' King, Chapin and Carens combined for 45-of-56 Worcester kills. Chapin earned a game-high honors in attack percentage (.414) with two service aces and a team-high four blocks.
- Worcester State's Megan Leavens (Storrs, Conn.) tallied a game-high 27 digs.
- Nolan recorded 52 helpers for Worcester State, while Murray led the Owls in assists with 28.
- Starkey led the attack for the visitors as she racked up a team-high 13 kills.
- Defensively for the Owls, Taylor dug out 24 balls, while Murray and Haradon recorded 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Starkey also led the team in blocks with three.
"Tonight's win was a team effort," stated head coach Bernie Chase. "It was a slow start but we rebounded with great defense and diverse offense."
"Amari was strong both offensively and defensively for us tonight," commenting on King's double-double.
Worcester State hits the road this Saturday (Sep. 16) to take part in the Wentworth Tri-Match with Wentworth and Lesley. Games are scheduled for 1/3 p.m.