WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior outside hitter Jaci Buscher (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain HS), tied her career-high with 20 kills, including four during a match-ending 10-0 run in the fifth set, and 18 digs, helping Bentley University record a 3-2 win over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley took the first two sets in convincing fashion, 25-17 and 25-19, and Merrimack came back to do the same in the next two, 25-12 and 25-18. In the fifth, after a 3-0 Warrior spurt tied the set at five apiece, the Falcons ran off the final ten, freshman Shannon Kelly (Hyde Park, N.Y./Franklin D. Roosevelt HS) serving the last nine.
A Merrimack attack error broke the 5-5 tie, back-to-back kills by Buscher make it 8-5 and another Warrior attack error forced a timeout by the visitors. After play resumed, Bentley used block from seniors Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./Palmer Trinity HS) and Alex Tator (Los Angeles, Calif./Marlborough School), a Dominguez kill and a Kelly ace to extend the advantage to seven at 12-5.
Merrimack took another timeout but was unable to end the run. After two more Buscher kills, another attack error ended the match.
Buscher, who started with four kills in the opening set and six in the second, hit .264 and also was involved in three blocks.
Tator provided 38 assists, three aces, seven blocks and two digs, and Dominguez finished with a season-high seven blocks, along with seven kills. Senior Kaleigh Sullivan (Naples, Fla./The Harley School, N.Y.) had a nine-kill night and classmate Lauren Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville HS) led the Falcons with 20 digs.
Senior Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, N.Y.), the Northeast-10 leader in kills, led Merrimack with 19, along with 13 digs and three blocks, and sophomore setter Tara Stuhr (Huntington Beach, Calif.) assisted on 49 of her team's 54 kills.
Bentley, with its second straight win, improved to 8-7 overall and 3-2 in the conference. Merrimack lost its second consecutive conference match, dipping to 8-4 overall and 2-2 NE-10.
Bentley is back at home on Thursday night to take on Southern Connecticut State at 7 pm.