Volleyball Outlasts Salem State, 3-2

Volleyball Outlasts Salem State, 3-2

SALEM, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University volleyball team earned its first conference win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Salem State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) match on Saturday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium.

The Bears improve to 5-6 on the season and 1-2 in the MASCAC, while the host Vikings fall to 0-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

Bridgewater State won the first set going away, 25-15, before Salem State bounced back with a 25-17 win in set two. The Vikings built an 11-4 lead before Bridgewater State closed the deficit to 15-12 following a kill by sophomore right side Becca Whalen (Plymouth, Mass.). Two kills by freshman middle hitter Sarah Janco (Methuen, Mass.) and one from junior outside hitter Darcy McDowell (Goshen, N.Y.) pushed the lead back to six points, before Salem State closed out the set with an ace by senior outside hitter Haley Reed (Goffstown, N.H.).

The Bears took the third set, 27-25 behind the hitting of junior outside hitter Gabryella Serrano (Bridgewater, Mass.), who had five kills in the set. In a tightly played match, the teams were tied four times late, before a kill by Serrano and an ace by junior setter Casey Holmes (Norton, Mass.) gave the victory to Bridgewater State.

Salem State prevailed 25-21 in the fourth set to force a fifth and deciding game. The Vikings took advantage of ten errors by the Bears, who hit just .019 for the set. Leading 21-20, three errors and a kill by Janco provided the margin of victory.  

Trailing 5-4 in the fifth set, Bridgewater State pulled out the win with a 7-3 run highlighted by back-to-back kills from junior outside hitter Abigail Gardner (Holden, Mass.). The Vikings pulled to within two late, but an error and kill by Whalen gave the Bears a 15-12 win. Freshman libero Victoria Caiano (New Bedford, Mass.) checked in with 25 digs and four assists.

Serrano had 12 kills, ten digs and four aces for Bridgewater State. Gardner finished with ten kills and 18 digs while Holmes dished out a game-high 37 assists and added three aces and 12 digs. Junior outside hitter Sydney Rice (Medway, Mass.) also provided double-digit kills with ten.

Janco led the Vikings with 12 kills and two aces. Senior setter Morgan Adams (Scotia, N.Y.) had 27 assists and eight digs. Reed contributed 11 kills, while McDowell (19 digs) and senior outside hitter Emily Hennessy (Hanover, Mass.) were active in the backcourt combining for 42 digs.

The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams next Wednesday evening at six. The Bears host Worcester State University, while the Vikings travel to Westfield State University.