By Staff Writer Thomas Griffin.
Keene State, the powerhouse of Little East Conference Women’s Volleyball, made quick work of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs Saturday afternoon.
The Corsairs, standing at 6-9 on the season, had their work cut out for them approaching the 15-5 Owls at Keene State’s home court in New Hampshire. The Corsairs started off slow, trailing 13-5 early in the first set. Initial coordination seemed off, as Keene state jumped to an early lead on the backs of service aces and untimely errors like multiple Corsair serves sailing out the back of the court. A late-set surge cut the deficit down to 23-16, but nonetheless, the Owls sealed off the first set 25-16.
The Corsairs had an axe to grind in the second set, keeping the Owls within a one-point lead for a 9-8 score. The two continued to exchange blows throughout the second set, and eventually the Owls crawled out to a 17-14 lead. Despite the close play, the Owls managed to pull away with a big lead and win the second set, 25-15. The Corsairs were playing like they were determined not to get swept by their division rivals, holding Keene State within a point for much of the second set. Unfortunately, Keene State proved to be too much for the Corsairs in the second set.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs had a convincing showing in the third set, taking their first lead of the match with a 10-9 start. Unfortunately, Keene State rallied once again, taking the third set 25-16 and rallying to sweep the match in three sets.
Despite being swept in the first game of the tri-match contest at Keene State, the Corsairs kept their morale high and moved on from their loss against the Keene State Owls to dominate play against the Maine-Presque Isle Owls. This matchup against the Maine-Presque Isle Owls was a non-league game for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs came out with a fire in the first set of their matchup, seeking retribution after their first loss of the day, and defeated the Maine-Presque Isle Owls quickly with a score of 25-8.
The second set of the match was more of the same, as the Corsairs downed the Maine-Presque Isle Owls 25-11 in the middle set. The Maine-Presque Isle Owls offense was held together single-handedly by their dominant sophomore, Miranda Washinawatok, who posted a double-double on the stat sheet with 10 kills, 11 digs, and a block solo in the second set.
The final set of the day for the Corsairs was unlike any other going right down to the wire. The Corsairs found themselves down 23-22 at the end of the final set but rallied together for three straight quick points, capped off by a service ace from freshman Charleen Lamagna to secure the victory. The Corsairs finished the job, beating Maine-Presque Isle 25-23 in the final set and taking home a sweep of their own.
UMass Dartmouth will host the Eastern Connecticut Warriors next in a Little East Conference matchup in the Tripp Athletic Center at 7:00 pm.
PHOTO COURTESY: CORSAIR ATHLETICS