NEWTON, Mass. - The Worcester State University women's volleyball team came out on the winning end of a thrilling five-set decision against Lasell College on Thursday evening. Set scores were 25-23, 12-25, 25-21, 23-25, 17-15.
With the win, Worcester State moves to 2-3 on the season, while Lasell drops to 2-6.
Worcester State appeared to have set one well under control with an 18-11 lead approaching the set's conclusion, but the Lasers battled back to tie it up at 21-21. Worcester State would pull through however, closing out a first set victory with a kill from sophomore Leelle Tyler (Longmeadow, Mass.).
Set two was all Lasers, as the hosts came back to even the match at a set apiece. Lasell opened the set on a 14-2 run to put it out of reach from the outset before prevailing 25-12.
The Lancers used an 8-0 run in the early stages of the third set to pull back into the lead at 2-1. Lasell made things interesting by pulling to within two at the set's conclusion, but kills from sophomore Natalie Gillis (Ashland, Mass.) and Tyler closed out the set to put Worcester back on top.
Worcester State held a six-point lead early in what they hoped would be a clinching fourth set, but the lead would slip away and the Lasers forced a fifth set.
A kill from senior Stephanie Chapin (Hampden, Mass.) gave Worcester State a 12-8 lead in the fifth set and appeared to put the match out of reach in favor of the Lancers, but Lasell again battled back to take a 14-13 lead and push Worcester State to the brink. With a chance to win the match, Lasell put its serve into the match to even the score at 14-14. Worcester State took the lead at 15-14 on a bad set from Lasell, but a Worcester State attack error again squared up the match at 15-15. The Lancers claimed the match two points later on another flubbed Lasell set.
Gillis led Worcester State with a career-best 18 kills in the win, with an attack percentage of .309. Tyler finished with 10 kills, while Chapin and senior Megan Johns (Burrillville, R.I.) each finished with eight in the victory. Sophomore Brooke Lamothe (Tewksbury, Mass.) was Worcester State's defensive charge in the match with 20 digs, while senior Marissa Proia (Framingham, Mass.) finished with 14 digs and Chapin 10. Senior Katie Gagnon (Hampden, Mass.) dished out a career-best 43 assists for the Lancers.
Worcester State will look to carry its momentum into a tri-match at Amherst College Saturday. Worcester State will play the host Mammoths at 11 a.m. and Brandeis University at 1 p.m.