BIDDEFORD, Maine – For the first time since the 2005 season, the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's volleyball team picked up a victory over the University of New England. The Leopards dropped the opening set to the Nor'Easters, but rallied to take a 3-1 win in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Tuesday night.
In addition to winning for the first time in 10 tries at UNE, the Leopards snapped an 11-match losing streak to the Nor'Easters, winning for the first time since Sept. 10, 2005. Wentworth improves to 17-3 overall and 3-2 in CCC play while the Nor'Easters fall to 11-8 (2-3).
Freshman Leah Rogoz (Woodridge, Ill.) paced the Leopards with a double-double of 17 kills and 16 digs. Freshman Samantha Lassiter (Rogers, Ark.) had 10 kills with a .500 attacking percentage, and factored in eight of the team's 11 blocks. Freshman Claire Quick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) also notched 10 kills, to go with 11 digs. Freshman Katie Clouse (Hudson Falls, N.Y.) and junior Katelyn Carlson (Stratford, Conn.) framed the offense with 26 and 13 assists, respectively. Lillie Clark (Vista, Calif.) tallied a match-best 17 digs, and Carlson added 12 more.
For the Nor'easters Grayson Szczepaniak (Lakewood, Ohio) totaled 15 kills while hitting at a .393 clip. Erika Sawicki (Wilbraham, Mass.) registered a double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs, and Kristen Falcinelli (Silver Spring, Md.) posted 40 assists. Defensively, Nikki Mathewson (Merrimack, N.H.) racked up a team-high 16 digs.
In a first set where there were eight lead changes and neither side led by more than four points, back-to-back UNE errors gave Wentworth a 23-21 edge. The hosts came out of a timeout and assembled a 5-1 spurt to steal the session – a run that featured a kill by Maddy Blake (Brookline, N.H.), two aces from Rene Roggenbuck (Goffstown, N.H.), and winning attacks from Bekah Mather (Sandy, Oregon) and Szczepaniak.
The second set reached its ninth tie at 15-all before the Leopards took the advantage for good. At 19-18, the visitors closed the stanza with six of the last seven. Lassiter was in on three blocks in the stretch, and finished the set off with a kill. Wentworth hit .385 in the frame, en route to a 25-19 win.
Wentworth got off to a 9-3 start in the 3rd, and maintained a cushion of at least three points the rest of the way as the Leopards took a 25-17 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Leopards jumped out to a 7-0 start in the fourth set, but it was quickly reduced to just two. The Leopards responded with a 7-1 span shortly after which made the score 16-8 and the visitors took a 25-14 win.
The Leopards host Anna Maria on Thursday night.