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In epic match, Eastern erases two-set deficit but is edged by Conn
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team fell short in a bid to erase a two-set deficit, as Connecticut College prevailed in a fifth set which featured 16 ties and seven lead changes.
At left: Adrianna Mihalek (Photo by Haley Heslin)
Conn (12-11), coming off last year's NCAA tournament bid, defeated Eastern (13-14) for the fourth straight time in the series, this time by scores of 25-22, 26-24, 20-25, 19-25, 20-18.
After losing the first two sets, Eastern roared back to tie the match by taking the next two before Conn broke the 16th and final tie of the fifth set on a pair of kills from sophomore Gabi Taylor.
With the exception of the Camel's 9-7 lead, neither team led by more than a point in the deciding set until Taylor's two final kills which came off sets from sophomore Kaitlin Cunningham.
Taylor had five of the team's kills in the final set and did not commit an error on nine tries in the deciding set for Conn, which started a junior, four sophomores and two freshmen. The Warriors took their final lead in the final set at 16-15 on a kill from freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury). Eastern broke match point on a Conn service error that tied the match at 16-all. The Warriors survived match point twice before Taylor's winning kills on Mihalek kills that pulled the hosts even at 17-all, and then again at 18-all. Her tying kill at 18 was a cross-court attack from the left side that landed just inside the right sideline.
Taylor led a balanced Conn attack with 15 kills, sophomore Caroline Martin adding 14, freshman Chloe Ainley 11, junior Anelise Hohl nine and freshman Ella Johnson eight.
Sophomore libero Jamie Balkin handled 37 receptions with only two errors and led all players with 30 digs. Martin collected 21 digs and senior Erin Barker 15. Ainley also had three blocks and Johnson two. Cunningham had 55 assists.
Mihalek led all players in the match with 21 kills, six coming in the final set. Freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) followed with 13 kills and senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) had 12. Sophomore libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) received 37 serves with just two errors and led all players in the match with 31 digs. Mihalek dug up 23 balls and senior Erynn Miller (Stratford) had 20 digs and was perfect on 19 reception attempts. Junior Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) added 13 digs and recorded 46 assists. Freshman Amanda Tyler (Longmeadow, MA) chipped in six kills and 11 digs and commited only one reception error on 15 attempts.
Facing extinction after dropping the first two sets by a total of five points, the Warriors never trailed after the opening point in the third set, racing to a 12-4 lead and holding off the visitors' attempt at the sweep by scoring the final four points in a five-point victory. Sophomore Bry Kelly (Dunbarton, NH) stopped Conn's momentum with a kill on an overpass to make it 22-20, Eastern, and Mihalek closed it out with three straight kills.
The Warriors tied the match with the six-point triumph in the fourth set.Eastern never trailed after an attack error by Ainley knotted the set at 13-13 and Mullen's kill gave the Warriors the lead for good, 16-15. As it did in the third-set win, Eastern closed with a flourish, recording the final five points after the guests had pulled to within one, 20-19. Gasch and Patrizi accounted for two of those final five points with kills, a Conn attack moved Eastern another point closer, as did block assists from Kelly and Tyler. Tyler put away a Patrizi set to wrap up the win and force the deciding set.
Eastern hosts the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Friday at 7 p.m.
Connecticut College 3, Eastern Conn. 2
Conn College (12-11) 25 26 20 19 20
Eastern Conn. (13-14) 22 24 25 25 18
Eastern drops four-set decision to Plymouth, bounces Bates in four
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team wound up its Little East Conference season with its fifth loss against Plymouth State in the last six outings Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium, but rebounded for a non-conference victory over Bates College.
At right: Kay Mullen
The Warriors, unofficially, will be the No. 5 seed in the LEC playoffs which get underway Nov. 5 and would visit the No. 4 seed in the first round. Plymouth maintained a share of second place in the conference behind unbeaten leader UMass Boston.
Plymouth attacked at .312 against Eastern and the Warriors commited ten service errors in the Panthers' 25-15, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21 wins. Senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) and freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) combined for half (26) of Eastern's kills and both attacked at .278. Sophomore Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) had 16 digs and Mihalek 11 and Gasch contributed two block assists.
Kaitie Sylvia had 13 kills and a .417 attack percentage for Plymouth, Jana Nieman adding ten kills. Mikki Taffe had nine kills and a .300 attack percentage and Kaitlyn Tedeschi seven kills and a .389 attack percentage.
The Warriors followed the LEC loss to Plymouth with a four-set victory (8-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21) over Bates College, which then rebounded to take Plymouth in four. Against Bates, freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) had ten kills with a .318 attack percentage, Mihalek led the way with 12 kills, junior Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) 30 assists and Luppi 15 digs.
On the afternoon, Mullen had 19 kills and a .441 attack percentage, Mihalek 24 kills, and Gasch 22. Luppi collected 31 digs, Mihalek 17 and Patrizi 14 digs and 56 assists.
Eastern hosts Connecticut College Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Camels are ranked 12th in New England.
Plymouth State U. 3, Eastern Conn. 1
Eastern Conn. (12-13, 3-4 Little East) 15 26 22 21
Plymouth State (14-13, 4-1 Little East) 25 24 25 25
Eastern Conn. 3, Bates College 1
Eastern Conn. (13-13) 8 25 25 25
Bates (10-15) 25 18 22 21
Eastern provides challenge to four-time LEC champs in three-set loss
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Patsy Boland and Kirsten Morrison combined for 20 kills and only one attack error to power the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team to a 25-13, 25-18, 25-18 Little East Conference sweep of Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
At left: Adrianna Mihalek
Since slipping past Keene State College in five sets in its LEC opener in a re-match of last year's LEC championship match, four-time LEC champion UMass Boston (15-13, 5-0 LEC), has swept its last four conference opponents. UMass defeated Eastern (12-12, 3-3 LEC) for the seventh straight time, all by sweep.
Morrison, a 6-foot-2 inch junior middle hitter, attacked at .588 with ten kills and no errors, while Boland, a freshman outside hitter, attacked at .450 with ten kills and only one error to spark UMass to a .385 attack percentage. Senior Megan Pollock collected 34 assists.
The Beacons scored the first three points of the first set and were never seriously in jeopardy. Eastern made a modest run after falling back by five early in the second set, cutting the margin to two before a service error gave the ball back to the visitors, who scored five of the final seven points. UMass scored three straight points to break an early tie and again later scored five of the final seven points.
Freshman libero Elizabeth Glavan was credited with 18 digs for the winners and sophomore middle Bri Sousa chipped in six kills and a .385 attack percentage.
A winner of three of its previous four entering action, Eastern got 11 kills and a .310 attack percentage from freshman outside Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury), but the rest of the squad attacked at .000 (14 kills and 14 errors). Sophomore libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) handled 21 receptions with just one error, while senior defensive specialist Erynn Miller (Stratford), junior setter Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) and Luppi all had ten digs.
Eastern visits Plymouth State University Saturday at noon for a Little East Conference match, also facing Bates College in a non-conference contest at 1:30 p.m.
First-year players power Warriors past Johnson & Wales in five
At right: Amanda Tyler
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Freshmen Amanda Tyler (Longmeadow, MA) and Ashley Adams (Mystic) combined for five kills in the decisive set as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team downed Johnson & Wales University in five sets in a non-conference match Saturday afternoon at the Wildcat Center. Set scores were 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-10.
The thrilling contest saw back and forth action with the teams splitting the first four games. In the fifth and decisive set, Johnson & Wales (8-18) raced to the early 4-1 lead, but committed six errors thereafter --- including four in a row -- with sophomore Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) serving that carried the Warriors into the lead for good, 8-5.
With Eastern (12-11) leading 9-7 in the fifth set, sophomore Bry Kelly (Dunbarton, NH) put away two balls on sets from junior Allie Henry (Middletown) and soon after, Adams sandwiched kills around one by Kelly to move the Warriors to within match point, where freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) sealed it with her ninth kill of the match.
In defeating the Wildcats for the third time in the last five meetings, the Warriors never trailed in the first set on the way to the six-point win.With the match tied one-set each, Eastern appeared headed to an easy victory in the third set after junior setter Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) served the team to an 8-2 lead. The hosts chipped away, however, finally pulling even at 21-all. With the score tied at 23, Kelly put away a set from Henry and freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) served the deciding point that was the result of a Wildcat attack error.
Johnson & Wales forced the deciding fifth set with the three-point victory in the fourth set. The hosts outscored Eastern 8-1 to erase a late four-point deficit and extend the match.
Senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) paced Eastern with 16 kills while Mihalek had a double-double with 14 kills and 17 digs. Kelly had 12 kills, a .286 attack percentage and four blocks, and Mullen nine kills and a .368 attack percentage. Patrizi and Henry combined for 49 set assists. Luppi and senior Erynn Miller (Stratford) combined for 31 digs.
Johnson & Wales was paced by junior Alyssa Drapeau with 13 kills and nine digs while senior Ashley Rey tallied 13 kills. Senior Casey Higgins and sophomore Kellen Tensen combined for 44 set assists while senior Giselle Cram had 23 digs.
Eastern hosts defending Little East Conference champion Massachusetts Boston Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Warriors move over .500 in Little East with sweep of Rhode Island
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team raced to an 8-1 lead in the first set and trailed only once the entire evening in posting a 25-14, 25-16, 25-16 Little East Conference victory over Rhode Island College Tuesday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
At left: Nicki Gasch
After easing to the first-set victory, Eastern (11-11, 3-2 LEC) scored five straight points to pull away from a one-point lead midway through the second set, then scored four straight points after allowing the first point of the third set in defeating Rhode Island (2-20, 0-4 LEC) for the fifth time in the last six meetings.
Behind the serving of sophomore Emma Cajthaml, Rhode Island bounced back from an early four-point Eastern lead in the second set to tie the match at 11-all on an Eastern service error. Soon after, the hosts put together a string of five straight points to pull away. Freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) had a kill and block assists in that stretch, junior Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) two service aces, senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) a kill, and freshman Amanda Tyler (Longmeadow, MA) a block assist.
Led by Gasch and freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury), Eastern attacked at .263. Gasch had a team-high nine kills and .368 attack percentage, Mihalek eight kills and a .421 percentage. Patrizi served five of the Warriors' ten service aces and picked up 14 assists, and senior Erynn Miller (Stratford) recorded nearly half of the team's digs by collecting 24 - her third-highest total of the year and most in a three-set match this season.
Eastern's attack percentage was its second-best of the season and best since attacking a .298 in sweep of Bridgewater State University a month ago at the Trinity College Invitational.
Rhode Island attacked at only .052 and was guilty of eight ball-handling errors. Sophomore Michelle Malboeuf led the Anchorwomen with five kills, with junior Karla Santizo and freshman Nicole Thibodeau combining for 17 digs.
Eastern visits Johnson & Wales University Saturday at noon.
Miller's record on and off court warranted unique status by coach
By Matt Sinkewicz / Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior Erynn Miller of Stratford is an excellent example of what student athletes should strive to be. She is the captain and only four-year player on the women's volleyball team. Even with all the time and effort that she puts towards volleyball, she is still able to be an exceptional student.
Prior to this fall, head coach Pete Maneggia hadn't named a captain for any of the teams he has coached in nearly 20 years -- since a high school softball team in 1996. Maneggia stated, "I'm a big believer in everybody should be there own captain. Sometimes it turns into a popularity contest, and there are multiple other reasons why I don't like naming captains. However with such a young team this year, I felt like we needed a strong leadership role, and Erynn was the obvious choice."
Miller was excited to become captain, but she also realized that new responsibilities come with the territory. "It's an honor to be named captain, but there is a little bit of pressure. Luckily my team has made it so easy on me," explained Miller, "it's a really good group of girls, and everyone gets along."
Miller graduated from Bunnell High School as a two-time All-State volleyball player who was appointed team captain a total of four years in three sports. She chose to attend Eastern because it was relatively close to home, and also because it offered a good balance between academics and athletics.
Before her freshman year, however, the Eastern coaching staff was in flux. With Maneggia serving as an assistant, Miller played under former head coach Fran Vandermeer before Maneggia was named head coach prior to her sophomore season. "It was a little frustrating knowing that there was no consistency (previously) in the coaching position, but Coach Pete has taken over and the program has improved so much," said Miller.
On the court, Miller never takes a play off. She came to Eastern as an outside hitter in high school but has moved into a primary passing role the last two years. In consecutive weeks last month, she was voted the Little East Conference's Defensive Player-of-the-Week. Heading into Tuesday night's LEC home contest against Rhode Island College, Miller had a .921 reception percentage on a team-high 303 attempts and also topped all players by averaging 4.39 digs per set - third-best in the conference.
She practices hard every day, and is a great example to the younger players. Off the court, she is a model student as a member of the Little East All-Academic Team and as an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award recipient. With a major in Business Administration and a minor in Communication, Miller wants to attend graduate school and eventually get a job in marketing.
They sweep Saint Joseph's (ME), drop four-set verdict to Wheaton
Saint Joseph's Box.HTM
NORTON, Mass. - Sophomore Bry Kelly (Dunbarton, NH) had three kills and a block in a final 13-1 run that sparked the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team to an opening-set win on the way to a sweep of Saint Joseph's College (ME) Saturday at Emerson Gymnasium on the Wheaton College campus.
At right: Bry Kelly
Meeting Saint Joseph's (15-6) for the first time in nine years, Eastern (10-11) erased the Monks in three sets for the third time in three meetings in the series. Set scores were 25-7, 25-16, 26-24.
Later Saturday, the Warriors came away with a 32-30 first-set conquest of Wheaton College (12-10) in one of the most thrilling sets of the season, but the Lyons rallied to capture the match in four. Set scores were 32-30, 22-25, 17-25, 22-25.
Against Saint Joseph's, freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) had nine kills with a .438 attack percentage, sophomore Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) 18 digs, three service aces and 17 reception attempts with no errors, freshman Amanda Tyler (Longmeadow, MA) six kills and a .500 attack percentage, senior Erynn Miller (Stratford) nine digs, senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) seven kills, and junior Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) 21 assists and four service aces.
In the 13-1 run that capped the first set against SJC, junior Allie Henry (Middletown) added a kill and service ace and Tyler a kill, and the Monks hurt themselves with six attack errors.
The Warriors broke from a tie in the second set with eight straight points en route to the nine-point win, with freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) killing three balls, Mullen contributing one kill and Patrizi a service ace. The Monks had three attack errors in the run.
The Warriors wrapped up the sweep with the overtime win in the third set. Gasch spoiled set point for the Monks with her seventh kill of the match to tie it at 24, and Luppi served the go-ahead and winning points. Her service ace gave the Warriors the lead, and a SJC attack error sealed the match win.
There were 21 ties in the remarkable first set against Wheaton. After Mullen's kill and Luppi's service ace pulled the Warriors to within one point, neither team led by more than a point until the Warriors scored the final two points on a Wheaton attack error and Henry's set-clinching kill.
Wheaton evened the match, however, by scoring six straight points that erased the Warriors' quick 7-2 lead in the second set and went on to the tight three-point victory. The Lyons, who snapped a four-match losing streak at the hands of Eastern, grabbed the all-important third set by breaking from an early tie to outscore Eastern, 7-2, en route to a 14-9 lead. The Warriors never led in the set after Wheaton chalked up the first three points on an Eastern service error and two quick kills.
The teams traded the early lead in the fourth set before the Lyons scored five of six points to take a 19-16 advantage.
Against Wheaton, Luppi had 18 digs and 20 receptions with one error; Henry
32 assists, Tyler six kills and a .250 attack percentage, 23 receptions with one error, two blocks, ten digs, and four service aces; Mihalek ten kills, 15 digs, and two blocks, Miller 14 digs and 18 receptions without an error; and
Mullen nine kills and five blocks.
Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.
Eastern Conn. 3, Saint Joseph's College (ME) 0
Saint Joseph's (15-6) 7 16 24
Eastern Conn. (10-10) 25 25 26
Wheaton College (MA) 3, Eastern Conn. 1
Eastern Conn. (10-11) 32 22 17 22
Wheaton (12-10) 30 25 25 25
Western remains unbeaten in Little East with four-set decision
DANBURY, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's last visit to Feldman Arena produced a rousing five-set victory against higher-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the first round of the 2011 Little East Conference tournament.
At right: Allie Luppi
As it did in 2011, Eastern (9-10, 2-2 Little East) lost two of the first three sets Tuesday, but this time could not find its way back in a four-set loss to Western (17-4, 3-0 Little East) that kept the Colonials with a share of the top spot in the conference with four-time LEC tournament champion UMass Boston. Eastern entered play in fourth place in the conference and drops one spot to fifth, a half-game back of Plymouth State University and Keene State College.
Western won by scores of 25-23, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20.
Freshman Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) led Eastern with 12 kills and was second on the team with 18 digs; senior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) and freshman Kay Mullen (Fairhaven, MA) combined for 14 kills, with Mullen attacking at .267; sophomore libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) topped Eastern with 20 digs and juniors Allie Henry (Middletown) and Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) combined for 36 assists.
Western All-LEC junior Nina Wojtkiewicz collected ten kills and 17 digs for Western, with All-LEC setter Jenny Hogan handing out 30 assists.
A winner of nine of its last ten matches, Western has won six of the last seven matches against Eastern, the one Warrior victory in that stretch coming two years ago in the first round of the LEC tournament.
Saturday at Wheaton College (MA), Eastern faces Saint Joseph's College (ME) at 3 p.m. and host Wheaton at 5 p.m. in two non-conference matches.