Candelaria Powers New Haven to 3-0 Win over Bentley; Falcons Led by Buckner

Kelsey Buckner
Kelsey Buckner

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Keidy Candelaria (Vega Baja, P.R.), the conference leader in kills, put down a match-high 15 and hit .464 as the University of New Haven took care of Bentley University, 3-0, Friday night in Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball at the Dana Center. The scores were 25-19, 25-21 and 25-18.

New Haven, with its 21st win in its last 22 matches, ran its record to 21-5 overall and 15-0 in the NE-10, the fourth straight year the Chargers have completed the regular season conference schedule without a blemish.  Bentley, which has an outside shot at qualifying for the NE-10 playoffs, concluded the regular season at 12-15 overall and 7-8 conference.

The Falcons played the region's top-ranked team close for much of the night, but each time Bentley would draw close, New Haven would surge ahead. The opening set was even at 15 apiece, before the visitors scored five unanswered, a run that included two Candelaria kills and two aces from freshman Margo Meteyer (Madison, Wisc.).

Bentley fell behind 8-2 to start the second set, but closed to within one point of New Haven three times (18-19, 19-20, 21-22).  After a kill from freshman Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./ Palmer-Trinity HS) brought the Falcons within one for the final time, New Haven closed out the set with three straight points, including an ace from freshman Hayley Wilson (Denver, Colo.) for the 25th point.

Freshman Kelsey Buckner (San Marino, Calif./San Marino HS) led Bentley with 11 kills and five service aces, and Dominguez followed with six kills, a .400 hitting percentage and a pair of blocks. Freshman setter Alex Tator (Los Angeles, Calif./Marlborough School) contributed 25 assists and two aces, and Virginia Wong (Quincy/North Quincy HS), the team's captain and only senior, had five digs and an ace in the final regular season match of her career.

New Haven, in addition to the big night from Candelaria, received five blocks apiece from sophomore Amber Cannady (Yonkers, N.Y.) and freshman Kristy Atufunwa (Denver, Colo.).  As a team, the Chargers hit .345 and had a 10-2 advantage in blocks.