WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior setter and co-captain Allie Rotkin (Cumming, Ga./Milton HS) had a career-best 52 assists, including 19 in the opening set, and 13 digs as Bentley University ran its winning streak to five with a four-set victory over the University of Bridgeport Friday night at the Dana Center. The scores were 25-21, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-20.
The win was the fifth straight for the Falcons, who improved to 7-11 after setting a season best for kills (62). Bridgeport, which reached the NCAA Division II East Region final a year ago, dropped to 9-9.
Rotkin's distributing enabled four different Falcons to amass double digits in kills, including freshmen Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Frances Parker HS) and Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School) who both had 16. Junior Shannon Kelly (Hyde Park, N.Y./Franklin D. Roosevelt HS) followed with 14, and senior Lauren Van Buren (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa HS) put down a dozen.
Bruno had an outstanding hitting game, finishing at an even .500 with only three errors in 26 swings. Milner (17 digs, 5 blocks, 3 aces) and Kelly (16 digs) each posted a double-double as they complemented their hitting with solid defense.
Bentley registered an amazing 21 kills and hit .320 in the opening set, including six apiece by Bruno and Milner. Kelly broke a 6-6 tie with a kill and the Falcons never relinquished the advantage the rest of the way.
After trailing 21-15 in the second set, the Falcons battled back to draw even at 23. However, the Purple Knights used a kill and a ball handling error to take the set and even the match at one apiece.
Bentley seized control of the third set with eight unanswered points making it 9-5 and remained in front the rest of the way. Bruno and Milner each had two kills and a block assist during the spurt.
The final set was even at 18 before Bentley closed with a 7-2 run that included a couple kills from Van Buren.
Bentley's 85 digs (the second highest total of the season) also included 23 for junior libero Celia Cristofoli (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson HS).
Senior Frida Randen (Sodertalje, Sweden) led Bridgeport with 15 kills, 15 digs and five aces, and the Purple Knights received 28 digs from senior libero Amelie Guinci (Cannes, France).
Bentley will conclude a five-match homestand and resume Northeast-10 action Saturday afternoon against Southern Connecticut State (1 pm).