KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College volleyball team never trailed in the opening two sets and went on to post a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-22) sweep of Worcester State University on Tuesday night at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 12-3
- Worcester State: 3-8
How It Happened
Ali McLoughlin hit .233 en route to adding 12 more kills to her ledger to pace the Owls. Megan Palmer narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with nine kills and nine digs, while Olivia Mathieu had 19 digs and two service aces and Bailey Wilson 23 assists, five digs, three kills and two aces. Sydney Johnson finished with 13 digs and three aces. Natalie Gillis paced Worcester State with 12 kills, but the Lancers were held to .034 hitting in the match.
Although KSC never trailed in the first set, the Lancers hung around, rallying from a pair of three-point deficits to tie it at seven. It did not stay that way for long, however, as an ace from Johnson and Palmer's kill helped restore an 11-7 edge, which later became 15-10 after Wilson again set up Palmer. Megan Johns and Marissa Proia teamed up for a block a bit later to keep WSU within three (17-14), but the Owls had an answer each time, as consecutive spikes from Kelly Hunt and Palmer made it 21-16. A kill and an ace from Palmer, as well as a kill by McLoughlin brought up set point at 24-17, and Emilyann Ashford finished up the opening frame with a kill.
The Owls were never threatened in the second set, as they outhit the Lancers .235 to -.081 and scored five of the first six points before later widening the lead to 11-3 on two kills from McLoughlin and three WSU errors. Kills from Hunt and Palmer helped make a double-digit edge quickly thereafter, which it remained for the rest of the frame. A point from McLoughlin made it 22-11, and KSC went up 2-0 in the match following consecutive kills from Sarah Williams and Palmer.
Looking to avoid the sweep, Worcester State led for the majority of the third set, as the Owls trailed 3-0 and 6-3 before briefly leading 7-6 after a block by Hannah Hoffmaster and Wilson, only to see the visitors go up 10-7 and later 13-8 on Brooke Lamothe's service ace. Keene State chipped away, getting back within one, but a pair of kills from Stephanie Chapin maintained a 19-16 Lancer lead. The Owls came to life from there, as they scored four straight points to take the lead, the last of which coming on another Hoffmaster/Wilson block. Wilson and McLoughlin had kills and Mathieu an ace during that span. Tied 20-20, KSC scored four more consecutive points to bring up match point, and after Worcester State fended it off twice, Wilson set up McLoughlin to seal the Owls' fourth home win of the season.
- Wilson is now 176 assists away from second place on Keene State's all-time assist list.
- KSC has won 14 straight and 19 of 20 against Worcester State all-time.
- Every Owl in uniform saw action in the match. Hoffmaster had three block assists, while Wilson had a pair of solo blocks and two block assists.
- Keene State heads to Northampton, Mass., where they will have a tri-match with NEWMAC opponents No. 17 Babson College (2:00 pm) and Smith College (4:00 pm) on Saturday, September 28.
- Worcester State has three home matches over two days, beginning with a Thursday (September 26) meeting with Becker College at 7:00 pm.