Warriors are in control with victory over Wheaton, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team attacked at a season-high .255 and collected at least ten service aces for the fourth straight match in a three-set sweep of Wheaton College (MA) Friday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Scorers were 25-18, 25-19, 25-21.
At left: Kristianna Ibsen
A winner of five straight home matches after a season-opening setback at Geissler Gym, Eastern (7-8) held the upper hand throughout the entire match, trailing on only a couple of occasions and using substantial scoring runs in the second and third sets to pull away.
Wheaton (8-10) has now lost four straight overall this year and falls to Eastern for the fifth time in the last six meetings between the programs. The Warriors blew a 2-0 lead a year ago against the Lyons at Norton, Mass., eventually dropping the decisive fifth set, 16-14. This year, Eastern wrapped up the match with a four-point victory in the third set. In that final set, Eastern scored eight straight points to wipe out an early one-point deficit to move out to a 22-15 lead. Junior right-side hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) and freshman outside hitter Erynn Miller (Stratford) both had three kills and Miller and sophomore middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) combined for five blocks.
Eastern scored 12 points on service aces - junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire), junior setter Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and Ibsen combing for ten -- and attacked at a season-high .255. With a season-tying 13 kills, Ibsen recorded at least ten kills for the ninth time in the last ten matches, attacking at a season-high .500. Wilson added six kills and also attacked at .500 - her second-best hitting percentage of the season.
En route to its fourth sweep this year, Eastern led 5-1 in the first set and later scored the final five points to extend a two-point lead. Ibsen was 4-for-7 on kills without an error in the set and Samantha Slonski had three service aces.
In the second set, Eastern scored eighth straight points to move out to a 9-3 lead and never trailed the rest of the way. Ibsen was 5-for-9 on kills with one error and Abelli had two service aces
In the match, team blocking leader Wilson contributed four. Junior Britt Carrier (Southington) led the Warriors with nine digs and handled 13 serves with just one error; Abelli had eight digs, Slonski 29 set assists, and freshman outside hitter Erynn Miller (Stratford) 13 service receptions with just one error and two blocks.
Saturday, Eastern hosts Emerson College at 11 a.m. and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at 3 p.m. Emerson is ranked No. 13 in New England, Coast Guard No. 8.
Eastern Conn. 3, Wheaton, MA 0
Wheaton (8-10) 18 19 21
Eastern Conn. (7-8) 25 25 25