Freshman Mihalek has 16 kills, one error; Miller 19 digs and five aces
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) had 16 kills with a .517 attack percentage and senior Erynn Miller (Stratford) had 19 digs and five service aces as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team swept Wesleyan University Friday night in the first round of the Trinity College Invitational at Silloway Gymnasium. Set scores were 25-16, 25-21, 25-22.
Eastern (3-5) ended a two-match losing streak with its third victory over Wesleyan (0-4) in the last four meetings.
At left: Adrianna Mihalek
Playing her first match of the season after recovering from a pre-season concussion, senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) contributed ten kills and freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) added seven kills. Junior setters Allie Henry (Middletown) and Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) combined for 30 set assists. In addition to her .500+ attack percentage, the 5-foot-8 inch Mihalek joined Miller in double figures with 12 digs. She also contributed two of the team's ten service aces.
Running off to a 7-2 start in the first set, the Warriors extended the lead to 10-4, and eventually 20-10 en route in a set where they never trailed. Eastern took ahold of the momentum by scoring seven straight points to move out to that 20-10 advantage. Miller sparked the run with two service aces and Mihalek put down to attacked balls and consecutive Wesleyan errors on a long attacked ball and a net violation.
The second set was nip-and-tuck before the Warriors ripped off four straight on a pair of Mihalek kills and a Wesleyan two-hit miscue and attack error to turn a two-point deficit into a two-point, 18-16 lead. With the important second set tied at 21, Mihalek recorded two more key kills, and Gasch and sophomore Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) chipped in one each as Eastern closed out with the final four points.
In similar fashion to the first set, Eastern started off strong in the third, racing to a 7-3 lead on a pair of kills by Mihalek, one by Gasch and service aces from Miller and Patrizi. Down 13-12, the Warriors recorded five straight points to open up a four-point lead, forcing the hosts to call a timeout in hopes of slowing them down. Eastern applied the daggar on Gasch's tenth and final kill which sealed the victory.
Wesleyan got eight kills without an error from senior Kim Farris, but the remainder of the team attacked at only .015 to drop the team's overall attack percentage to .099.Farris also had three blocks and three digs. Senior Kate Centofanti led the Cardinals with 11 digs while freshman Rachel Savage had ten. Sophomore Abby Southam also had three blocks. Coming off the bench, sophomore Brenna Tharnstrom dished off 15 assists.
In the nine-team tournament Saturday at Trinity College's Ray Oosting Gymnasium, Eastern faces Bridgewater State University at 11 a.m. and regionally-ranked Trinity College at 1 p.m.