KEENE, N.H. - Riley Bunker became the Keene State College volleyball team's all-time digs leader, but the Owls fell to Rivier University 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-27, 22-25) in non-conference action on Thursday night at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 19-7
- Rivier: 20-6
How It Happened
Bunker needed 16 digs to pass Sarah Peterson on the all-time list and wound up totaling 31 in the match. Megan Palmer had 12 kills and 14 digs, while Bailey Wilson filled the statsheet with 32 assists, 13 digs and 11 kills. Rivier got 15 kills from Courtney Collins, and 43 assists and 18 digs from Hayley Macken.
Keene State used a run of eight consecutive points late in the first set to take command and went on to win the frame. The Owls opened an 8-5 lead in the early going, but the Raiders scored four straight and eventually took a 14-11 lead. Trailing 15-12, KSC turned the tables with a 10-1 burst. Two kills by Palmer sandwiched around two Rivier errors gave the Owls a 17-15 advantage, which was later extended to 20-15 after Emilyann Ashford and Palmer combined for a block. Another point from Palmer and one from Wilson made it 22-16, and KSC had little trouble closing the set, as a block from Elizabeth Johnson put KSC up 1-0 in the match.
The Raiders got off to fast starts while claiming each of the next two sets. In the second, the visitors collected seven of the first ten points. KSC clawed within 12-9, but Rivier answered with four straight points to regain command. Trailing 23-16 after an ace by Sydney Racevicius, Keene State had one last gasp run in them, as three Raider errors and a kill from Ashford made it 23-21. Another kill from Ashford and one from Wilson got KSC within one (24-23), but a kill by Taylor Dunster ended the frame.
Rivier took a 5-1 lead to start the third set, but the Owls immediately rallied for five straight points. It was nip and tuck from there, as a kill from Collins put Rivier up 12-10, only to see three kills from Palmer and two from Wilson help KSC take a 17-13 advantage. The hosts appeared well on their way to claiming the set, as a pair of kills from Ali McLoughlin helped make it 22-16, and a Raiders error brought up set point for KSC (24-17). However, Rivier furiously rallied, as they scored nine of the last ten points to steal the set and the lead in the match.
Looking to stay alive, KSC opened up leads of 8-5 and 12-8 in the initial stages of the fourth set. The Owls still were up 15-13, but Rivier recorded four straight points on three kills and an ace and never trailed again. The Raiders pulled away, bringing up match point after kills from Dunster and Collins made it 24-19. Keene State scored three straight to draw within two, but Collins' kill ended the match.
- Bunker currently has 1899 career digs. Peterson (2005-08) finished her career with 1883. Bunker is also currently tied for fourth on the all-time list for service aces with 188. Jordan Pokryfki is in third with 224.
- This was Keene State's first home loss of the season. The Owls entered the match 9-0 at home.
- The Owls played Rivier once previously this season, falling 3-2 (15-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-19, 11-15) on September 7 in Nashua.
- Keene State has a key Little East Conference matchup with UMass Boston on Saturday, October 20 at 1:00 pm. KSC and UMB are both 5-1 in the conference, as is Eastern Connecticut. The Owls will also honor seniors Bunker, Niamh Dodd, Kait West, and Kali Sequeira before the match.
- Rivier has a tri-match at St. Joseph's College (Me.) on the same day. The Raiders will first take on the Monks at 1:30 pm before a match with Albertus Magnus College at 3:30 pm.