Oct 29, 2016
BIDDEFORD, Maine -- After dropping the opening frame, Salve Regina University took the next three to register a 3-1 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's volleyball decision over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 29) at the Harold Alfond Forum. Set scores were 19-25, 25-14, 25-22, and 25-16.
Both sides will now enter the CCC Championship on Tuesday. The Seahawks (16-10, 5-4 CCC) end in a three-way tie for fourth-place in the standings, and will await official word from the conference on their seeding. The Nor'easters (13-12, 3-6 CCC) are the No. 7 seed and will be headed for Roger Williams University.
Francesca Testani (Shelton, Conn.) paced Salve with 11 kills, and Annie Donahue (Chelmsford, Mass.) added 10. Samantha Higgins (Coventry, R.I.) posted a team-best 13 points, largely behind seven winners and 10 block assists, and Tara Kellenbarger (Encinitas, Calif.) contributed seven kills. Samantha Salwa's (Ellington, Conn.) double-double of 34 assists and 11 digs supported both the offensive and defensive efforts, while she dropped in four aces and shared in five blocks. Megan Parham (Tulsa, Okla.) pulled up 21 digs and Cassidy Trablicy (Phoenix, Ariz.) had 16 more.
For UNE, Erika Sawicki (Wilbraham, Mass.) tallied match-highs of 13 kills and 15 points. Maddy Blake (Brookeline, N.H.) and Kristen Falcinelli (Silver Spring, Md.) both recorded double-doubles, as Blake went for 10 kills and 12 digs, and Falcinelli lofted 37 assists to go with 11 digs. Grayson Szczepaniak (Lakewood, Ohio) had eight kills and Nikki Mathewson (Merrimack, N.H.) dialed up 22 digs to top all players.
The Nor'easters trailed 13-12 during the initial stanza, but turned things with five straight points. The Seahawks drew back within one (17-16), however Big Blue would not relinquish the advantage to take the six-point result. Sawicki had three of her seven kills in the set to close it out.
SRU cruised through the 2nd, assembling runs of 8-1 and then 8-3 to separate itself. In the 3rd, five unanswered points put the Seahawks ahead for good at 7-2, and the lead swelled to eight (17-9) before UNE began to chip into it. Action got as close as 19-18 and 21-20, but the hosts could not complete the rally.
A 10-3 start in the 4th was enough for Salve Regina to sustain the rest of the way, as the difference was no less than six to the end.