WALTHAM, Mass. – Double-doubles by Ingrid Murphy (Cotuit/Barnstable HS), Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) and Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School) propelled Bentley University to a 3-1 victory over the University of New Haven in Northeast-10 Conference women's volleyball Thursday night at the Dana Center. The scores were 25-17, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-11.
The victory, Bentley's 17th in its last 18 matches, assured the Falcons of at least a share of the NE10 regular season title, their first conference championship since 2014. Coach Joey Pacis' team, 22-5 overall and 11-1 NE10, can capture the title outright with a win over 3-22 Pace University Friday night.
Murphy finished with 12 kills and 18 digs while Milner hit an even .300 with 13 kills, 16 digs and three assists. Lopp delivered 41 assists and also recorded 12 digs, three kills and three aces. Sophomore Shannon Ngo (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda HS) had an outstanding hitting performance, swinging at a .462 success rate with a game-high 14 kills.
The opening set saw the Falcons open with four kills and an ace for a 5-0 lead after five serves. They also closed with five unanswered points with that surge including a Lopp ace and two Milner kills.
Bentley, the third-ranked team in the NCAA Division II East Region, trailed by as many as seven points in the second but battled back for the win, closing with an 8-3 surge with Murphy putting down a kill for set point.
After the Chargers stayed alive by taking the third set, the fourth was all Bentley. The Falcons won going away, with 13 of the final 15 points going up on the home side of the scoreboard. The final set included four kills by Ngo and two Milner aces.
Senior libero Emily Barthelmes (Buchanan, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson HS) led Bentley in digs with 21, and senior Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Frances Parker School) also played a role in the win with nine kills, a .304 hitting percentage and three blocks.
New Haven, the fifth-ranked team in the region, received nine kills from senior Mallory Nowicki (Grand Rapids, Mich.), including the 1,000th of her career.
Friday's match against Pace in the regular season finale is scheduled for 6 pm at the Dana.