RINDGE, N.H. – Despite 17 kills and 12 digs from freshman outside hitter Kelsey Buckner (San Marino, Calif./San Marino HS), the Bentley University women's volleyball team dropped a four-set decision to Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference action Tuesday night at the FPU Fieldhouse.
The two teams split the first two sets, with Bentley taking the second 25-23 (hitting .424 in the process) after the Ravens won the opener, 25-20. Franklin Pierce took control with a 25-16 set three win, and rallied to close out the match, 25-23.
The visiting Falcons held a slim lead for much of the final set, never bigger than three points, and with the score at 22-20, seemed headed for their first five-setter of the season. However, five of the next six points went up on the Raven side of the scoreboard, producing a two-point Franklin Pierce win.
The comeback by the Ravens began with a kill from sophomore setter Stephanie Svorinic (Scottsdale, Ariz.). A bad set and an attack error by the Falcons gave FPU its first lead since 11-10 at 23-22. Buckner answered with her final kill of the night to even the score, but the Ravens used a successful attack from freshman Catie Swiderski (Rocky Point, N.Y.) and a block shared by sophomore Ashley Bruce (Hampton Falls, N.H.) and freshman Jocelyn Smith (Groton, Conn.) to end the match.
Swiderski hit .326 and recorded a match-high 18 kills to pace Franklin Pierce. Sophomore Natasha Ray (Colorado Springs, Colo.) followed with 11 kills, and Svorinic had 37 assists. Franklin Pierce hit .345 and .265 in the final two sets, and served nine aces on the night.
Buckner hit .244 for Bentley, with the double-double the fifth of her rookie season. Classmates Tatiana Froehlich (Newton, Mass./Newton North HS) and Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./Palmer Trinity HS) followed with nine and eight kills respectively, with Dominguez hitting a team-best .467. Dominguez also had three aces and three blocks.
Freshman Alex Tator (Los Angeles, Calif./Marlborough School) provided Bentley with 38 assists and eight digs. Lauren Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville HS), also a freshman, and senior Virginia Wong (Quincy/North Quincy HS) both had 13 digs for the Falcons.
The loss dropped Bentley to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the Northeast-10. Franklin Pierce improved to 8-8, including 2-3 in conference play.
Bentley will travel to South Carolina for three matches over the weekend, beginning Friday night at Augusta State and including a Saturday encounter with undefeated and 17th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic.