WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior Jaci Buscher (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain HS) and junior Ashley Latimer (Croton on Hudson, N.Y./Croton Harmon HS) combined for 18 kills but it wasn't enough as Bentley University dropped its second match of the day in the season-opening Bentley Invitational, falling to LIU Post in three Friday night at the Dana Center.
The Pioneers, off to a 2-0 start, took the opening two sets by identical counts of 25-23 and prevailed in the clincher, 25-19. The first saw LIU Post notch the final two points on Bentley errors, a service error and a bad set, after the two were even at 23.
In the second set, Bentley stormed out to a quick 7-1 lead and was up nine several times, including 14-5. A 13-4 Pioneer burst created an 18-all tie and again the two were knotted at 23 before LIU Post picked up the final two points. This time, they came on kills by junior Taryn McCullouch (Buena Park, Calif.) and freshman Rachel Londot (Utica, Ohio).
Buscher hit .276 with ten kills and Latimer had a .286 success rate with eight kills. Junior Allie Rotkin (Cumming, Ga./Milton HS) gave Bentley 18 assists and senior libero Jessica Segal (West Harrison, N.Y./Harrison HS) made 16 digs.
Sophomore Danielle Valenza (Hauppauge, N.Y.) led the victors with 13 kills, 16 digs and a .345 hitting percentage. Freshman Giulia Genna (Civitella Sao Paolo, Italy) collected 40 assists on 45 Pioneer kills and senior Rachel Ringor (Honolulu, Hawaii) served three aces.
In its first match of the day and season, Bentley was swept by Florida Southern College, the nation's 17th-ranked Division II team. The Moccasins took the opening set 25-9 and completed the 3-0 victory with scores of 25-7 and 25-10 in the next two.
Senior right side Kendall Marotti (LaBelle, Fla.) was outstanding for the Floridians, registering a match-high 12 kills without an error for a .600 hitting percentage. Junior outside Brindi Langley (Camas, Wash.) followed with seven kills and senior middle Kayshia Brady (Welaka, Fla.) had five in six swings for a Moccasin team that hit .360.
Florida Southern, coming off a 25-6 season, served 11 aces, including five by Marotti.
For Bentley, Buscher and classmate Shelby Kreienberg (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) each posted four kills.
The tournament continues Saturday with Bentley playing Minnesota Crookston at 10 am and Chestnut Hill at 6:30 pm.