CASTLETON, Vt. - Megan Palmer and Ali McLoughlin each had 11 kills, while Brianna Azzinaro had a career-high 26 assists as the Keene State College volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 sweep of Castleton University in Little East Conference action Wednesday night at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 14-4, 2-0 LEC
- Castleton: 7-8, 0-3 LEC
How It Happened
The Owls were not threatened in their second conference victory of the season, as they hit .345 and .423 in the opening two sets while holding Castleton to -.079 hitting overall in the match. Elizabeth Johnson added eight kills on .467 hitting with four block assists, while Olivia Mathieu had 18 digs. Castleton received six kills from Lizzie Goodrich.
KSC started slowly, as they trailed 5-2 early in the first set, but quickly rebounded, scoring 10 of the next 12 finishing with kills from McLoughlin and Johnson for a 12-7 lead. The Spartans briefly got within four, but Palmer set up Sydney Johnson for a kill to make it 16-9 and the Owls were never seriously threatened after that, as a kill from Elizabeth Johnson and an ace by Palmer put KSC up eight (21-13). The Owls later wrapped up the set with three straight points, including Johnson's ace to finish.
The second frame proved to be a runaway, as after Castleton took a 4-3 lead on a Keene State attacking error, the Spartans did not score again while the Owls scored the final 22 points. KSC hit .423 in the set and held CU without a kill. During that stretch, the Owls racked up 11 kills, six from McLoughlin, including two in a row that made it 17-4. Out of the final 12 points in the set, eight ended in spikes for KSC, including four of the last five - two each from Palmer and McLoughlin.
Leading 2-0 in the match, KSC used another surge, albeit not as big, to finish off the sweep. After surrendering three of the first four points, the Owls scored the next eight for a 9-3 advantage and led from then on. A kill by Shannon Manchester did bring the hosts within four (12-8), but Keene State immediately doubled Castleton's deficit with a 4-0 run. Consecutive team blocks from Elizabeth Johnson, one of her four on the night, and Courtney Chouinard made it an eight-point lead before Chouinard extended the edge to 21-11 after a kill. The Spartans scored the next five, but KSC had no trouble wrapping up the match, as Palmer's kill was the last of four straight Owl points to finish.
- KSC is 2-0 all-time against Castleton, with both meetings coming in the last two years since the Spartans joined the LEC.
- The Owls are one of four teams with an unblemished conference mark, including Eastern Connecticut State University (3-0), Plymouth State University (2-0) and Western Connecticut State University (2-0).
- Keene State returns home to host a tri-match with Western Connecticut and Westfield State University on Saturday, October 5 and 12:00 and 4:00 pm.
- Castleton visits Rhode Island College on the same day at 12:00 pm.