FITCHBURG, Mass. – The visiting Bridgewater State University volleyball team swept Fitchburg State University, 3-0, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) match on Tuesday evening at Parkinson Gymnasium. The Bears won by set scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17.
Bridgewater State improves to 7-10 on the season and 3-2 in the MASCAC, while the host Falcons fall to 3-13 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Junior setter Casey Holmes (Norton, Mass.) paced the visitors with a match-high 31 assists to go along with 14 digs, an ace, a kill and an assisted block. Junior outside hitter Sydney Rice (Medway, Mass.) led the BSU attack with a match-best ten kills and a .316 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Abigail Gardner (Holden, Mass.) added seven kills, six digs and an ace for the Bears who also received four kills and ten digs from junior outside hitter Gabryella Serrano (Bridgewater, Mass.), six kills from sophomore right side hitter Becca Whalen (Plymouth, Mass.), and five kills, five digs and an assisted block from senior middle blocker Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.). Freshman libero Victoria Caiano (New Bedford, Mass.) checked in with a match-best four aces as well as eight digs, a kill and a pair of assists.
Bridgewater State tallied eight aces for the match and posted a .160 team hitting percentage. The Bears' defense limited the Falcons to a .051 hitting percentage and just two aces. Both teams recorded seven serving errors.
In the opening set, Bridgewater State took an early 7-3 advantage as Whalen tallied a pair of kills and Caiano registered two aces. Fitchburg State battled back to knot the score 9-9 with a kill from sophomore Leah Sheehan (Billerica, Mass.). Leading 19-17, the Bears reeled off six of the next eight points capped off by a Rice kill to take the first set, 25-19.
The Bears clung to a 22-21 lead in the second set when a Falcon attacking error and a Gardner kill gave the visitors set point. Caiano then closed out the set with an ace to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match.
Trailing 10-9 in the third set, Bridgewater State used an 11-1 run to take a commanding 20-11 lead. Holmes, Rice (2), Caiano and Gardner each recorded kills during the run, while junior defensive specilaist Maggie Czarniak (Kingston, Mass.) capped it off with an ace. Four of the Bears' final five points of the set came on kills by Gardner, Grindle, Rice and Whalen.
Junior outside hitter Lauren Riccardi (Tewksbury, Mass.) led Fitchburg State with eight kills and seven digs, while sophomore libero Chloe Guzman (Pawtucket, Conn.) recorded 22 digs and junior setter Perry Joubert (Seekonk, Mass.) dished out 13 assists. Junior outside hitter Paige Anderson (Winchendon, Mass.) added six kills and seven digs for the Falcons.
In upcoming action, the Bears will take on Bates College on Friday evening (5:00 PM) at the Hall of Fame Invitational. The Falcons travel to Framingham State University on Saturday morning for an 11 o'clock MASCAC match with the Rams.