WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior co-captain Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Francis Parker School) hit a career-high .800 and finished with 12 kills and eight blocks as Bentley University got back on track with a 3-0 sweep of Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball Tuesday evening at the Dana Center.
With the 26-24, 25-16, 25-17 victory, the Falcons put an end to a three-match slide and improved to 7-10 overall (3-3 NE10). Merrimack dropped to 4-13, including 2-3 conference.
Bentley struggled for much of the opening set and was looking at deficits of 22-17 and 24-21 before tallying the final five points. That closing burst included kills by freshman Amanda Parker (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North HS) and sophomore Mallory Burbage (Bow Mar, Colo./Littleton HS), along with two blocks by Bruno, one of which she teamed up with Parker.
Five of Bentley's season-high 14 blocks (also the most in the NE10 in a three-set match this season) came in the second set with freshman Shannon Ngo (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda HS) involved in three of those. A run of six unanswered points broke an 8-8 tie and the Falcons maintained the lead the rest of the night.
Bruno had zero errors in her 15 attack attempts. In her last two matches, she's had 29 kills and only one error in 41 swings, a success rate of .683.
Burbage also had a strong hitting night with a .474 success rate and ten kills. Junior Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) had 22 assists in the final two sets and Parker complemented her seven kills with a pair of aces.
As a team, Bentley hit a season-best .337 and limited the Warriors to just .062. The Falcons' 14 blocks was seven times Merrimack's total.
Bentley will play its next seven matches on the road, beginning next Tuesday at Southern New Hampshire.