LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Day one of the Georgian Court Invitational Friday saw the Bentley University women's volleyball team earn a 3-0 win over the host team before falling in five sets to undefeated West Chester University.
West Chester pushed its record to 7-0 after overcoming a 2-0 deficit in a match that saw Bentley junior libero Celia Cristofoli (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson HS) record a career-high 27 digs and sophomore teammate Krista Campbell (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North HS) provide 43 assists and 11 digs.
Bentley, 1-5, prevailed in the first two, 25-20 and 25-11, and held a 21-20 lead in the third. The score was even at 22-22 before the Golden Rams stayed alive with kills by freshman Rachel Robb (Blackwood, N.J.) and sophomore Allie Duffy (Carlisle, Pa.), and a set-ending ace by Robb.
The fourth set was also knotted at 22 apiece before West Chester again closed with three unanswered. Duffy put the Rams in front with a kill and two Falcon errors sent the match to the decisive fifth. Four straight kills early in the finale gave WCU a 6-2 lead and Bentley was never able to recover before falling 15-9.
Senior outside hitter Lauren Van Buren (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa HS) led Bentley with 14 kills, along with a career-best five blocks. Freshman Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School) followed with a 12-kill, 19-dig double-double and classmate Caitlin Corcoran (Trappe, Pa./ Perkiomen Valley HS), a 6-foot-1 middle, hit .323 with 10 kills and no errors in 31 swings.
Bentley had an 8-2 edge in service aces, including three by junior Isabella Perez (Lafayette, Calif./Carondelet HS).
Four players reached double figures in kills for West Chester with junior Karleigh Lutz (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) leading the way with 21. Sophomore Nicki Yates (Coopersburg, Pa.) amassed 30 digs and sophomore Jillian Grammer (Center Valley, Pa.) provided 55 assists and 15 digs.
In the 25-19, 25-22, 25-10 win over Georgian Court, Van Buren led Bentley with 12 kills and a .526 hitting percentage. Milner, who has achieved four double-doubles in her first six collegiate matches, followed with 11 kills and 11 digs. Corcoran was involved in five of the Falcons' seven blocks, and Campbell finished with 29 assists.
The tournament continues Saturday with Bentley playing New York Tech at 10 am and Caldwell at noon.