Eight Is Great! Owls Maintain Perfect Start With Sweeps of New England College, Plymouth State

Photo by Jake Paquin.
Photo by Jake Paquin.

KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College volleyball team kept up its solid start to the season by sweep a pair of matches from in-state foes at the Granite State Challenge in Spaulding Gym on Saturday.  The Owls defeated New England College 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-15) and Plymouth State 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-20).

Records

  • Keene State: 8-0
  • New England College: 2-5
  • Plymouth State: 5-3

How it Happened - New England College

Rachel Lamica had 13 kills and 10 digs, hitting .300 with a block assist.  Megan Palmer added five kills, while Bailey Wilson, Niamh Dodd, and Jennifer Severino had four each.  Wilson had 23 assist and a service ace to go with her 23 assist, while Jenny Nohara had 10 assists.

Riley Bunker led the way with 18 digs, and was joined by three other players in double-figures, with Kait West having 17, Olivia Mathieu 15, and Lamica with 10.

The Owls blitzed the Pilgrims in the first set, holding NEC to a .095 hitting percentage while hitting .421 themselves.  Severino's kill gave KSC a 7-3 lead, while back-to-back kills from Katie Cunningham made it 10-4.  Keene State continued to streak ahead, as a kill from Dodd made it 14-6, and three kills from Lamica extended the lead to 20-9.  Another Lamica kill gave the Owls set point, and a NEC error closed out the set.

The second set went back-and-forth, as Kelly Hunt's kill gave Keene State a 9-6 lead before the Pilgrims went up 10-9 on a kill from Kennedy Somavia.  NEC's strong play continued, going on a 9-4 run to take a 19-13 lead before the Owls' comeback began.  Riley Bunker served the Owls to eight straight points, including a service ace that made it 19-17, and another that gave the Owls a 21-19 lead.  After a Pilgrims' serving error gave the Owls a 22-20 lead, Jenny Nohara closed out the set with an ace.

The Pilgrims opened the third set with four straight points, but the Owls responded with seven of their own, as Megan Palmer had two kills to complement the serving of Hannah Hoffmaster.  An ace from Kait West made it 16-9, and another from Bailey Wilson made it 22-14.  Yet another ace, the Owls' ninth of the match, came from Palmer to give the Owls the win.  

How it Happened - Plymouth State

The Owls jumped all over their conference rivals in the first two sets, holding Plymouth State to -.088 and -.029 in the first two stanzas.  Lamica added 14 more kills, while Mathieu and Cunningham had five, and Wilson and Severino had four each.  Bunker had 13 digs and Mathieu had 12, while Wilson had 23 assists.    KSC racked up nine more service aces, including three each from Bunker and Cydnee Morgan.

After the Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the opening set, Keene State rattled off the next six points, including a pair of aces from Bunker.  A KSC error closed the Panthers to within 7-5, but the Owls kept PSU just out of reach.   Keene State led 15-12 after a kill from Ari Linden, but would not score again.  The Owls netted the final 10 points of the set, taking advantage of six Panther errors and an ace from Wilson.

Plymouth State took a 6-0 lead to start the second set, but was outscored 25-7 the rest of the way.  Lamica and Severino teamed up for a block that tied the score at six, and Cunningham's kill gave KSC its first lead at 10-9.  Two straight kills from Mathieu gave the Owls a 20-12 lead, before closing out the set with an ace.

Keene State handed the Panthers a 5-3 lead with a serving error, but took an 8-6 advantage on consecutive Panther errors.  The set stayed within three points until the Panthers closed within 20-19, but KSC ended the set on a 6-1 run, with Lamica powering down a pair of kills to give KSC its eighth straight victory.

Service Aces

  • Lamica upped her career total to 990 kills, needing just 10 to become the fifth player to reach the mark in program history.  She would join Brittany O'Bryant (1,641), Bridget O'Bryant (1,514), Angela Silveri (1,347), and Ellyse Davis (1,098) in the 1,00 kill club.  Her pace of 18 kills per match this season would put her in line to finish with 1,394, the third highest total in school history.
  • The Owls' record win streak is 12, set most recently during the LEC Championship season of 2008.
  • Keene State improved to 3-0 at home, after going just 5-6 at Spaulding Gym in all of 2016.

 

Up Next

  • Keene State will head down to Trinity College on Thursday, September 14 for a 7 p.m. first serve.