AUBURNDALE, Mass. – Keyed by sophomore Jordan Rittberger's (Huntington, N.Y.) 7.44 assists per set and junior Amanda LaCroix's (East Freetown, Mass.) 3.56 kills per set, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth earned its first tri-match sweep of the season on Saturday, defeating host Lasell 3-2 and Eastern Nazarene 3-1.
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 3, Lasell 2 | UMass Dartmouth 3, Eastern Nazarene 1
Records: UMass Dartmouth (3-2) | Lasell (3-4) | Eastern Nazarene (3-5)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 3, Lasell 2
The Corsairs prevailed in a tightly-contested fifth set, taking three of the final four points to edge out the 3-2 victory over the Lasers.
LaCroix posted a .239 attack percentage with 18 kills on the match to lead UMass Dartmouth, with Rittberger tallying 29 assists. Defensively, the Corsairs halted the Laser attack with five blocks, including four block assists by freshman Alivia Connors (Derry, N.H.).
UMass Dartmouth took the first set by a relatively comfortable 25-19 score, with Connors closing out the game with a service ace. Lasell would tighten up the margin in the second set, posting 12 kills to UMass Dartmouth's nine and forcing a 26-24 final score in favor of the visitors. With the set tied at 24, sophomore captain Nicole Silverman (Chelmsford, Mass.) slammed down a kill to put the Corsairs in front, and sealed the set with her serve on the next point.
The Lasers rebounded to draw the match even at two with a pair of 25-17 wins in the next two sets, forcing a deciding point. Silverman rose to the occasion, completing four of her seven kill attempts (.571) and a team-best four digs. Lasell went up 6-2 to begin the set, but Rittberger served the Corsairs to an 11-all tie. She and LaCroix closed out the set, pairing for three final kills in the last four points and sealing the match.
UMass Dartmouth 3, Eastern Nazarene 1
Five Corsairs combined for a total of 90 digs in the second contest of the day, led by Rittberger's 20 and sophomore Jillian Sykora's (Waterford, Conn.) 19 to keep Eastern Nazarene at bay.
LaCroix and Silverman again bore the attack load, combining for 25 kills, with freshman Tashneal Africa (Chelsea, Mass.) posting eight kills on a .353 attack percentage.
UMass Dartmouth held the Lions to just four kills while firing off 11 offensively in the first set, cruising to a 25-16 score. In the second, Eastern Nazarene reversed roles with the Corsairs able to muster just seven kills, drawing even with a 25-21 victory.
Again, the Corsairs gutted out a 26-24 win in the third, aided by LaCroix's five kills and Sykora's nine digs. With the score close throughout, Connors was responsible for UMass Dartmouth's final three points, killing a ball to tie the margin at 24 before serving home the final two points.
A team attack percentage of .231 then sealed the final set with a 25-19 score in favor of the Corsairs. Three service aces by Sykora overtook the lead at 8-6, with UMass Dartmouth holding serve throughout much of the remainder. The Lions cut back within five, bringing the score to 24-19, but again Connors recorded the match's final kill for the win.
Inside the Numbers
- Season-highs abounded for UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, as the Corsairs registered 47 kills, a .149 attack percentage and 45 assists against Lasell.
- Silverman was a force throughout the day, finishing with 2.78 kills per set, 4.00 digs per set and two service aces.
- UMass Dartmouth outgunned both opponents, finishing the day with a .145 team attack percentage to Lasell and Eastern Nazarene's combined .114.
- The Corsairs are now winners of seven-straight against Eastern Nazarene and own back-to-back wins over Lasell since falling to the Lasers 3-2 early last season.
UMass Dartmouth opens its home slate on Thursday, hosting Bridgewater State for a 6 p.m. start time at the Tripp Athletic Center.