WORCESTER, Mass. - The Keene State College volleyball team hit over .300 in each of the first two sets and went on to sweep Clark University 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 27-25) on Wednesday night at the Kneller Athletic Center.
- Keene State: 3-1
- Clark: 1-4
How It Happened
KSC kept the offense going, racking up 50 more kills and a .265 hitting percentage for the match, while winning for the third time four tries thus far this season. Ali McLoughlin recorded a game-high 17 kills and added five digs and a pair of assists, while Elizabeth Johnson was also in double-digit kills with 11. Olivia Mathieu had 23 digs and Bailey Wilson 43 assists, six digs and kills. The Cougars, who were making their home debut after playing at the Sea Gull Invitational in Maryland last weekend, were led by Claudia Rivera's 12 kills. Sophia Torino had 23 digs and 21 assists.
The Owls coasted to a win in the opening set as they outhit Clark .306 to .051 and raced out to an 11-4 lead en route to a 25-14 win. The home team never got closer than five after KSC's fast start, and the visitors got a kill from Elizabeth Johnson and two from McLoughlin to extend the advantage to 19-9. A block by Emilyann Ashford and kills from Kelly Hunt and Johnson helped close the set with ease as the Cougars never led in the first. The second frame was a different story initially, as the teams exchanged leads, but KSC ran away down the stretch. A kill by Clark's Paige Kacherian helped the Cougars edge out to an 8-6 lead, but the Owls got kills from Ashford and McLoughlin to nudge back out in front 12-10. Clark immediately answered by rattling off five straight points and still led 16-13 after Rivera's block, but Keene State took a 2-0 lead in the match on the back of a dominating 12-1 run that saw them reel off 10 straight points, including seven straight kills. Ashford's kill and Wilson's ace wrapped up the set.
Leading 2-0, Keene State fended off Clark in the third set to polish off the sweep. A pair of kills each from Megan Palmer and McLoughlin helped the Owls out to an early 5-2 lead, and KSC stayed ahead by a similar margin until a 5-1 run midway through the frame helped expand a three-point lead to a 19-12 cushion. Elizabeth and Sydney Johnson combined for three kills in that stretch, while Sydney also had a service ace. The Cougars did not go away, though, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to go ahead (22-21) for the first time since it was 1-0. The lead did not last long. Elizabeth Johnson's service ace and McLoughlin's point put Keene State back in front and, despite tying the set once more, Clark never led as the Owls wrapped things up in extra points.
- McLoughlin now has a team-best 59 kills, while Elizabeth Johnson has 42 and a team-best .507 attack percentage. KSC is hitting .227 as a team.
- Wilson has had at least 40 assists in all four matches.
- The teams have now split 10 all-time meetings.
- The Owls head up to Plymouth on Friday, September 6 for the first day of the Granite State Challenge that sees them take on The Sage Colleges (6:00 pm) and Rivier University (8:00 pm).
- Clark will take on Westfield State University in Hartford, Conn. on the same night at 5:00 pm.