McLoughlin, Ashford Shine as Volleyball Steams Past Saints, 3-0

KEENE, N.H. - Ali McLoughlin had 16 kills, recording double-digits in that category for the ninth time this season, as the Keene State College volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-14) victory over Emmanuel College on Tuesday night at Spaulding Gymnasium.


  • Keene State:  10-2
  • Emmanuel:  4-4

How It Happened

Playing at home for the first time in 10 days, the Owls started quickly and never looked back while winning their sixth straight match.  In addition to McLoughlin, Emilyann Ashford hit .438 while adding nine kills, four digs, one solo block, and one block assist.  Olivia Mathieu racked up 24 digs and Megan Palmer a season-high tying 22, while Bailey Wilson had 31 assists, three digs and two kills.  Isabella Miller had eight kills for Emmanuel.

KSC never trailed while running away with the first set, as they scored the first five points, three on kills by McLoughlin, and later led 10-2 after Ashford's block on Elizabeth Syverson.  The Saints scored three consecutive points to briefly stop the surge, but the Owls answered with three straight of their own and eventually led 17-8 after kills from Elizabeth and Sydney Johnson.  Six more points in a row for KSC culminating with a Wilson to Palmer connection widened the lead to 23-9.  Emmanuel scored six out of seven after that, but the Owls closed the set with McLoughlin's eighth kill.

The second frame was a much different story, as Keene State did not gain any separation until a late 9-3 run flipped a two-point deficit into a 24-20 lead.  The Owls generally maintained a small edge in the early going, including 11-9 after consecutive points, but the Saints responded with a 6-1 run for their largest lead of the match (15-12) after a pair of kills from Miller sandwiched a KSC attack error.  The visitors still led 17-15 shortly thereafter, but Ashford's kill and two setting errors by Jalen Winfrey put the Owls back on top, a lead they never relinquished.  Ahead 20-19, kills from Elizabeth Johnson and Palmer restored the lead to three, and later another kill from McLoughlin brought up set point (24-20).  Johnson blocked Miller's attempt to put Keene State up 2-0 in the match.

The second set proved to feature the only lead changes of the evening, as KSC scored five of the first six in the third and was rarely threatened after that.  Consecutive kills from Palmer and Paige Hine made it 13-7, which later grew to 16-8 after the Owls scored three consecutive points, the last of which on one of Palmer's three service aces.  Leading 22-9 after a 12-2 surge, Keene State cruised from there, as a pair of Emmanuel errors brought up match point, and Ashford wrapped things up after Wilson set her up for a kill.

Service Aces

  • KSC outhit Emmanuel .289 to .075 overall, including .405 to .175 in the opening set.
  • McLoughlin's .389 attack percentage marked a season-high.  She has hit .200 or better in six consecutive matches, racking up 72 kills in that span.
  • The Owls have won five straight in the all-time series and are 16-3 against the Saints overall.
  • Keene State leads the Little East Conference in total kills and has 264 more team digs than the next closest team.

Up Next

  • The Owls visit Wellesley College on Thursday, September 19 for a 7:00 pm start.  It will be the first meeting against the Blue (6-3, 1-0 NEWMAC) since 2015.
  • Emmanuel hosts Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday, September 21 at 10:30 am.