NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth earned its first victory of the season, sweeping Eastern Nazarene College in the opening match of the seventh annual UMass Dartmouth Volleyball Invitational this evening at the Tripp Athletic Center. In the nightcap, the Corsairs dropped a 3-1 decision to Regis College (Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth 3, Eastern Nazarene 0
Junior Eliza Bowes (West Yarmouth, Mass. / Dennis-Yarmouth) registered 10 kills and a 42.9 hitting percentage to lead UMass Dartmouth (1-2) over the Lions. Classmate Jasmine Burris (New Bedford, Mass. / Greater New Bedford) turned in a well-balanced performance, spiking seven kills, tossing in three service aces, and producing 12 digs. Sophomore Christina Spinazola (Medway, Mass.) handed out 23 assists and three service aces, while junior Brianna Perry (Acushnet, Mass. / New Bedford) posted a game-high 26 digs.
The Corsairs won the opening eight points of the set on Spinazola's serve. The hosts continued to apply the pressure, building their advantage to 23-13 before the visitors rattled off nine consecutive points. Unfazed, UMass Dartmouth stemmed the tide with a kill from Burris and captured the first set with a sophomore Cara Butcher (East Longmeadow, Mass.) winner.
In a closely-contest second stanza, the Corsairs led for the majority of the match. UMass Dartmouth raised its advantage to a set-best six points (18-12), but Eastern Nazarene would not go away without a run of its own. The Lions came roaring back, whittling their deficit to two points on a pair of occasions, most recently 23-21. The Corsairs closed out their visitors with a Burris' spike.
With the third set knotted at 16-all, UMass Dartmouth utilized a quick three-point run to take command of the frame. The Corsairs were able to capitalize down the stretch on three attacking errors and a serve into the net on match-point to seal the victory.
Junior Hannah Welsh (Derry, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy) was a force on both sides of the net, leading Eastern Nazarene in kills (10) and digs (17). Senior Kortney Jenkins (Bunker Hill, West Va.) finished with nine winners and a match-best five aces. Sophomore Lauryl Berger (Laurel, Del.) dished out 23 assists and tallied 15 digs.
Regis 3, UMass Dartmouth 1
UMass Dartmouth jumped out to an early one-set advantage, but Regis evened the match with a 25-19 victory in set No. 2. The Pride continued their momentum into the third frame with a 25-16 win before holding off a late Corsair charge to earn the victory.
Nine UMass Dartmouth student-athletes registered a kill in the match, led by Bowes' eight. Spinazola directed the offensive attack with 21 assists, while Perry recorded a team-high 24 digs.
Freshman Emily DeBarros (Brockton, Mass.) and classmate Graciella Molinari (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) combined for 24 kills to lead the Pride. Freshman Crystina Lathrop (Houston, Texas) posted 33 helpers, while classmate Nicole Connolly (San Mateo, Calif.) and senior Marilia Ramos (Chimbote, Peru) registered 25 and 20 digs, respectively.
The Corsairs return to action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., when UMass Dartmouth hosts Norwich University.
SCHEDULE FOR DAY 2:
Court A: Eastern Nazarene vs. Regis, 10AM
Court B: Norwich vs. UMass Dartmouth, 10 AM
Court A: Regis vs. Framingham State, 12 PM
Court B: Norwich vs. Eastern Nazarene, 12PM
Court B: Framingham State vs. UMass Dartmouth, 2PM