WALTHAM, Mass. – After a disappointing loss Friday night, Bentley University bounced back to sweep Le Moyne College, 3-0, and capture a share of the Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball regular season championship Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center. The scores of the Senior Day victory were 25-10, 25-15 and 25-22.
The win, coupled with Saint Rose's five-set win at Stonehill and Southern New Hampshire's 3-0 upset of New Haven, created a three-way logjam at the top of the NE-10 standings with Bentley, Stonehill and New Haven all 11-3 in conference play. By the end of tonight, that group could grow to four if Adelphi wins at Merrimack.
The NE-10 tie-breaker will determine the seedings for the conference championships, which begin with quarterfinal play Tuesday night.
Simone Silvera (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook HS), one of six seniors honored before the match, led the Falcons with 13 kills, one shy of her career high. She hit .400 and also had three blocks. Another senior, setter Alex Tator (Los Angeles, Calif./Marlborough School), was also instrumental in the win with 32 assists and five kills in seven opportunities.
It took the Falcons, the number four team in the NCAA Division II East Region rankings, to get underway as they faced a 12-8 deficit in the opening set. Seven straight points, a run that included three Kelly aces and two Silvera kills, put the Falcons in control and the home team only faced one more deficit the rest of the match, 1-0 to begin the second.
Bentley closed the second set with a 13-4 run that included three blocks and a kill by Silvera. She had five kills early in that set and a total of six in the second.
The third set was the closest of the three but was the only one that the Dolphins (10-13, 7-7) never held a lead.
Bentley's .375 hitting percentage was a season-high and included .444 in the second and .433 in the third.
In addition to Silvera and Tator, it was the final regular season match for Lauren Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville HS), Tatiana Froehlich (Newton/Newton North HS) and Kaleigh Sullivan (Naples, Fla./Harley School (N.Y.)). Colasanti had 12 digs, Froehlich had seven kills and Sullivan hit .500 with six kills. The team's sixth senior, Savannah Dominguez (Miami, Fla./Palmer Trinity HS), missed the match due to injury.
This is the 12th time overall, and the first since 2005, that Bentley has had a share of the Northeast-10 regular season championship. Pairings for the conference championships will be announced later tonight or Sunday.