Western breaks 1-1 tie by winning final two sets on way to 3-1 victory
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Coming off three well-played matches at home over the weekend - two of them wins -- the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team attacked at just .065 in losing a 3-1 Little East Conference decision to Western Connecticut State University Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Above: Rachel Joy
Western (18-5, 2-1 little east)) outscored Eastern (8-10, 0-3 little east) 8-1 early in the important third set on the way to a 25-21 that gave the Colonials their third win over the Warriors in the last three meetings between the programs. Leading 2-games-to-1, Western wrapped up the victory by scoring the final five points of the fourth set.
Junior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) led Eastern with ten kills, three aces and three blocks, while 6-foot-2 inch sophomore Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) added eight kills, and two aces, junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) 19 digs, and senior Rachel Joy (Huntington Station, NY) 16 digs and 21 reception attempts with only one error (.952). Junior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) recorded 29 assists.
Junior libero Kelley Collins paced Western with 25 digs, senior Natalie Crosby adding 17 digs and ten kills, senior setter Samantha Hathaway 45 assists, sophomore Paxton Thornton 18 kills and three blocks, and freshman Melanie Lombardi four blocks.
Western has won seven of its last nine and improves to 7-1 on its opponent's home court this year. Playing the fourth of seven straight home matches, Eastern is 6-3 at Geissler Gym this season. This past weekend, the Warriors swept Wheaton College (MA) downed regionally-ranked Emerson College in four sets, and battled No. 8 regionally-ranked U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a five-set loss
Western was ranked No. 2in the LEC pre-season poll, Eastern No. 6 after the Colonials eliminated the Warriors in the opening round of last year's LEC tournament.
Eastern hosts the30th Annual Crabtree Classic Friday and Saturday, facing University of New England Friday at 8 p.m.
Western Conn. 3, Eastern Conn. 1
Western Conn. (18-5, 2-1 little east) 25 22 25 25
Eastern Conn. (8-10, 0-3 little east) 14 25 21 14