WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University volleyball team dropped a tightly-contested 3-0 decision to Keene State College Tuesday evening in non-conference action at John P. Brissette Court. Set scores were 26-24, 25-23, 25-22.
With the loss, the Lancers' winning streak comes to an end at five matches, and their record moves to 6-6. The Owls extend their winning streak to seven, moving to 11-3 on the year.
The Lancers took early leads of 6-2 and 13-10 in the opening set, but the Owls came back to close the gap, going on a 4-0 run to take a 14-13 lead midway through the set. From that point on in set number one, the margin was never more than two and no team scored more than three points in a row. The Owls would take the early edge when they clinched the set win on a Worcester State attack error.
The second set closely resembled the last half of the opener, as neither team led by more than two points in the set's entirety. Trailing 19-17 in the waning moments of the set, the Lancers went on a 5-1 run to take a 22-20 lead, and they appeared close to evening the match. Keene State had other plans however, as they responded with a 5-1 run of their own, capped by a kill by Olivia Mathieu (Derry, N.H.), clinching the set and taking a commanding lead in the match.
The Owls controlled the early stages of the third set and appeared to be running away with the sweep. Midway through the set, the Owls appeared to take an 18-14 advantage on a kill, but the referee soon noticed that the wrong Owl had served to start the point, awarding the point to Worcester State. The long delay left the Owls flustered, and the Lancers scored the next three points to to take their first lead in the set at 18-17. The Lancers couldn't hold the advantage however, as minutes later a block from Keene's Jennifer Severino (Galloway, N.J.) and Megan Palmer (East Islip, N.Y.) clinched the set and the match for Keene State.
Palmer finished as the match's leader offensively, recording 15 kills to go along with 16 digs for the double-double. Niamh Dodd (Mahopac, N.Y.) also finished in double figures in kills for the Owls on the night, recording 11 on the evening. Riley Bunker (Simi Valley, Calif.) and Kait West (Hopkinton, Mass.) had big nights defensively for the visitors, recording 20 and 15 digs defensively, while setter Bailey Wilson (Moorpark, Calif.) tallied seven kills to go with her 42 assists.
Lancer senior Amari King (Lawrence, Mass.) had a big night of her own, recording 14 kills and 22 digs, both to lead the Lancers. Classmate Emily Carens had her own double-double, talliying 10 kills and 15 assists in the loss.
Next up for the Lancers, they will look to return to the win column against Mass. Maritime on Thursday evening at John P. Brisette Court. The Owls look to extend their win streak on Saturday with trimatch action against Babson and Smith.