NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sophomore outside hitter Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School) put up a 22-kill, 17-dig double-double to power Bentley University to its fourth straight win, and eighth in its last nine matches, in Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball Friday night at Pelz Gym.
It took four sets with the Falcons winning the all but the third in comfortable fashion, taking the match 25-15, 25-16, 17-25 and 25-16.
The outcome left both teams with identical 13-5 overall records and boosted Bentley to 6-1 in conference play. Southern, which had won eight of its previous ten, dropped to 3-3 NE10.
Milner's tenth double-double of the season saw her record the highest kill count by a Bentley player since 2014 and post a solid .315 hitting percentage. She hit .333 with six kills in the opening set, .583 with seven in the second and .308 with six in the fourth. Milner's night also included three blocks and a total of 23.5 points, one shy of her season high.
Most of Milner's kills were delivered by classmate Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS), who finished with a career-best 49, along with 17 digs, two blocks and an ace.
Bentley also received nine kills and two blocks from sophomore Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./ Frances Parker School) as well as 22 digs and three aces from senior libero Celia Cristofoli (Fort Collins, Colo./Hudson (Ohio) HS). Senior McKenna Buck (Renton, Wash./Holy Names Acad.) also helped out with a half-dozen blocks.
The opening set was tied at 13 apiece before a timeout from Bentley coach Joey Pacis ignited a 12-2 run. During the spurt, Milner had four kills and Cristofoli served two of her aces.
In the fourth, Bentley jumped out to a 6-0 lead with the fast start including three kills by Buck. The advantage grew to 18-8 and the Falcons were never threatened.
Three Southern players reached double figures in kills with junior Leanna Jadus (Long Beach, Calif.) leading the way with 12.
Bentley outhit the Owls .253-.147 and also held the advantage defensively with digs 87-76 and blocks 8-4.
Bentley will be back in action Tuesday with a 7 pm home match against Assumption.