GORHAM, Maine – The Curry College women's volleyball team fell at the hands of Eastern Connecticut State and Southern Maine in a tri-match on Saturday afternoon. After the pair of unfavorable decisions, the Colonels sit at 10-7 on the year.
MATCH 1 – Eastern Connecticut State 3, Curry 0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-13)
The teams showed they were evenly matched as the contest opened, as the Warriors held a 10-9 lead after 19 points. Curry kept it close as a kill by Amanda Wood (Tokyo, Japan) cut the Warrior lead back to one at 14-13, but six straight points by Eastern Conn. gave them a 20-13 edge. The Colonels made an attempt at a rally, bringing the deficit down to two at 22-20, but the Warriors took three of four points and capped the first set with a score of 25-21.
The second set opened in a similar fashion to the first, with Curry this time heading out to a lead at 14-10. An 11 point run with Alaentra Long (Lincoln, Neb.) at the service line, however, put the Warriors well ahead at 21-14. The teams traded points but the deficit would be too much for the Colonels to overcome, as they saw the second set close with a 25-18 score.
The Colonels came out looking to avoid the sweep in the third set, but Eastern Conn. showed their determination and took 13 of the first 18 points to build an eight-point advantage. A kill by Lexi Pereira (Attleboro, Mass.) drew Curry to within six at 16-10 before a kill by Wood made it 17-11, but it would be as close as the Colonels could muster, as the Warriors closed the set on a 6-1 run to take it 25-13.
Leading the charge for Eastern Conn. was Abby Stern (Manchester, Conn.), who hammered home 18 kills with a .350 hitting percentage. Meg Verizzi (Lebanon, Conn.) turned in a match-high 34 assists, while Madison Bell (Salem, Conn.) and Long held down the defense with 12 and 11 digs, respectively. For the Colonels, Pereira turned in team-highs in kills (9) and digs (14), while Rachel Damstra (Houston, Texas) topped the team with 24 helpers.
Eastern Connecticut wrapped up the day with a 3-1 loss against Southern Maine, moving them to 9-6 on the year with a 3-1 mark in the Little East Conference (LEC). The Warriors will get back to work on Saturday, October 12 with another tri-match, this time at LEC opponent Keene State. The Warriors will take on the hosts at 12:00 p.m. before facing non-conference foe MCLA at 2:00 p.m.
MATCH 2 – Southern Maine 3, Curry 1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-13)
Both teams excelled with side-outs in the onset of the first frame, as neither team took a two-point lead until a service ace by Sophie Lindsay (Pasadena, Calif.) made it 11-9, Huskies. An error on the next serve gave the ball back to the Colonels, but the Huskies would not relinquish their lead. Curry got close to their hosts as a Huskie ball-handling error drew the Colonels to within one at 20-19, but three straight points by Southern Maine gave them breathing room, before closing out the first set by a score of 25-22.
The Colonels looked to tie up the match with a win in the second set and got out to a hot start as back-to-back aces by Pereira gave them a 7-3 edge. A kill by Kylee Austin (Saco, Maine) drew the hosts to within one at 8-7, but Curry got back in control and soon brought their lead back to four at 11-7. Southern Maine would cut the lead down to one eight more times in the stanza, but on every single occasion the Colonels protected their lead and regained the serve, which included a kill by Pereira at 24-23 to take the second set, 25-23.
The Colonels jumped out to a 5-1 advantage in set three, looking to take consecutive sets, but the Huskies would not back down. Curry again worked to protect their leads, fighting off their hosts at 9-8, 10-9, 11-10, and 12-11, but as the set neared its end, the picture started to shift. After capitalizing on two straight attack errors by Southern Maine to make it 20-17, the Colonels gave up three consecutive points and six of seven to surrender a 23-21 lead. Twice Curry cut the deficit to one, but another kill by Austin gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead in the match, taking the third set by a 25-23 score.
Southern Maine took a quick lead in set four at 8-2, which prompted an early timeout by the visitors. Curry looked to claw their way back into the set, but could get no closer than five, as a kill by Jamie Jannarone (Windham, Maine) soon made it 18-8. Pereira got the serve back with a kill of her own, but Southern Maine kept their guests at arm's length and closed out the set at 25-13 to take the match.
Despite the loss, Pereira turned in an impressive 20 kills on a .333 clip. Damstra led the way with 37 assists while Lex Bell (Salem, Conn., 16) and Faith Herity (River Edge, N.J., 12) contributed double-digit digs for the Colonels. Three Huskies recorded double-digit kills in the match, topped by the 13 of Kacey Foerster (Scarborough, Maine). Lindsay turned in a team-high 34 assists, while Foerster's 17 digs led all players in the contest.
Southern Maine finished the afternoon with a 9-10 mark overall with a 2-2 record in the LEC. The Huskies will return to the court for a home match against the Husson Eagles on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. The Colonels will also get back to action on Tuesday, hosting Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foe Gordon at 6:00 p.m.