BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Third-seeded Bridgewater State University cruised to a 3-0 victory (25-14, 26-24, 25-14) over #6 Salem State University in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday evening at the Tinsley Center.
With the win, Bridgewater State advances to the MASCAC Tournament semifinal round as the Bears (11-14) will travel to Framingham State University on Thursday night to take on the second-seeded Rams at 7:15. Salem State ends the season with an overall record of 2-19.
The Bears are now 9-2 all-time versus the Vikings in MASCAC championship competition which dates back to 1991.
Junior middle hitter Sydney Rice (Medway, Mass.) notched a match-high ten kills and a .421 hitting percentage to go along with two solo blocks to pace Bridgewater State. Junior setter Casey Holmes (Norton, Mass.) added 28 assists, one kill, seven digs and a pair of aces for the host, while junior outside hitter Gabryella Serrano (Bridgewater, Mass.) checked in with seven kills, 16 digs and two aces.
The Bears also received five kills and 15 digs from junior outside hitter Abigail Gardner (Holden, Mass.), 16 digs and an ace from freshman libero Victoria Caiano (New Bedford, Mass.), three kills, five digs, one solo block and a match-best four aces from senior middle blocker Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.), and nine digs and three aces from junior defensive specialist Maggie Czarniak (Kingston, Mass.).
The opening set was knotted at 11-11 when the Bears used an 11-1 run to pull away for the victory. Grindle and Holmes tallied two aces apiece during the run, while Serrano, Rice and Whalen each recorded kills.
Set two came right down to the wire. Bridgewater held a 24-23 lead, but a set-point serve found the net. The Bears, however, bounced right back as a Rice kill followed by a Serrano ace gave the Bears the 26-24 win. Rice notched five kills in the set, while Serrano tallied three kills and a pair of aces.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the final set, the Bears used a 15-1 run to pull away for the 25-14 win in the final set. Gardner tallied two kills during the spurt, while Czarniak registered two aces.
Freshman middle hitter Sarah Janco (Methuen, Mass.) paced the Vikings with seven kills, nine digs, two aces and an assisted block, while junior outside hitter Darcy McDowell (Goshen, N.Y.) notched five kills, 12 digs and two solo blocks, and senior setter Morgan Adams (Scotia, N.Y.) contributed 17 assists, two kills, six digs and two aces.