BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University volleyball team outlasted previously unbeaten Elms College, 3-2, on Wednesday evening at the Tinsley Center.
The match marked the home opener for the host Bears who improve to 1-3 on the young season. The visiting Blazers slip to 3-1 with their first setback of the 2017 campaign.
Junior outside hitter Kayla Baril (Seekonk, Mass.) paced Bridgewater State with 11 kills, four aces and five digs, while junior outside hitter Megan Tamasanis (South Easton, Mass.) added nine kills and junior libero Cassidy Tyros (Chelmsford, Mass.) checked in with ten digs and three aces.
The Bears' setting tandem of juniors Elexi Miskiv (Centerville, Mass.) and Elizabeth Roberts (Swansea, Mass.) combined for 35 assists. Miskiv notched 20 assists to go along with a pair of aces, while Roberts contributed 15 assists.
Elms' junior outside hitter Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, Nev.) led all players with 19 kills, while freshman hitter Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass.) tallied 11 kills and sophomore outside hitter Hannah Adams (Greenfield, Mass.) added nine.
Freshman setter Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) filled the stat sheet with a match-best 42 assists to go along with three kills, seven digs and an ace.
Bridgewater seemed in complete control of the match from the outset as the Bears cruised to a 25-9 win in the opening set and followed that up with a 25-21 victory in the second set.
Elms, however, came roaring back taking the next two sets, 25-18 and 25-20.
In the decisive third game, the Bears jumped out to a 12-7 advantage only to see that lead quickly disappear. A kill by Adams followed by back-to-back aces by freshman hitter Hannah Pichardo (South Glen Falls, N.Y.) and a solo block by junior middle hitter Rachel Magnuson (Miller Place, N.Y.) pulled the Blazers to within one at 12-11. Back-to-back BSU attacking errors gave Elms a 13-12 advantage, but a kill by Tamasanis stopped the bleeding and knotted the score at 13-all. A Redding kill put the Blazers at match point, 14-13, but three straight errors by the visitors gave Bridgewater the 16-14 win and the match.
Bridgewater finished with a .210 hitting percentage and recorded four serving errors compared to nine for the visitors. The Bears also notched 17 aces during the match led by four each from Baril and freshman middle hitter Sydney Rice (Medway, Mass.). Elms posted a .133 hitting percentage and tallied nine aces.
The Bears return to action on Friday and Saturday when they compete at the Johnson & Wales Invitational. The Blazers travel to Mount Holyoke College on Saturday for a tri-match with the host Lyons and Simmons College.