NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Freshman Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Frances Parker HS) posted seven blocks, tying her career-best, to power the Bentley University women's volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over Merrimack College Saturday afternoon in the Merrimack Invitational at Hammel Court. Set scores were 18-25, 25-14, 25-23 and 25-18.
Later in the day, Bentley completed play in its third tournament of the season with a 3-0 loss to undefeated University of Nebraska-Kearney, the fifth-ranked team nationally in Division II. Those scores were 25-15, 25-9 and 25-15.
Two of Bruno's rejections came in the second set after a fast start (6-1, 17-6) lifted Merrimack to a first-set win. The Falcons finished the first set strong (a 12-8 spurt) and carried the momentum into the second set. In that one, Bentley scored seven of the first nine points and opened it up with a run of 10-0 that made it 22-10.
The third set was the closest of the match with the two teams tied at 22 before a Bentley timeout. Freshman Caitlin Corcoran (Trappe, Pa./Perkiomen Valley HS) broke the tie with a kill for the Falcons and a Warrior service error ended the set.
Bentley finished the match with back-to-back shared blocks by Corcoran and Bruno.
Senior outside hitter Juliette McCall (Torrance, Calif.) paced Merrimack (1-12) with 12 kills.
Nebraska-Kearney, which hit .324 while improving to 14-0 on the season, was led by freshmen Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kans.), with 10 kills and Josie Cox (North Platte, Neb.), with six blocks. The Lopers trailed only twice in the match, the last time at 3-2 in the opening set.
Bentley received six kills and two blocks from Bruno.
Bentley, 2-10, will remain on the road for a Thursday night match at Post University.