NEW LONDON, N.H. - The Keene State College volleyball team started quickly, outscoring Colby-Sawyer College 50-25 over the first two sets, and eventually went on to post a 3-1 (25-14, 25-11, 25-27, 25-20) non-conference victory on Tuesday night at the Hogan Sports Center.
- Keene State: 7-2
- Colby-Sawyer: 3-6
How It Happened
The Owls got balanced contributions up and down the lineup, with Ali McLoughlin collecting 14 kills and Emilyann Ashford 10. Megan Palmer had 22 digs, nine kills, five assists and four service aces, while Bailey Wilson stuffed the stat sheet with 33 assists, 13 digs, five service aces, and four kills. KSC had 14 service aces as a team in the match. Colby-Sawyer was paced by 14 kills from Naarah Cox.
Keene State established themselves early, as they were rarely threatened in the opening two sets. In the first, an ace from Elizabeth Johnson concluded an opening 7-2 run, which later extended to 10-3 on a kill by Kelly Hunt. The Chargers briefly got back in it, as they scored seven of the next ten and eventually drew within 15-13, but answered with a 6-0 run and closed the set on a 10-1 burst. The surge featured kills from McLoughlin and Ashford, but also four service aces, including three in a row by Wilson to close out the frame. The Owls hit a match-high .296 in the second set and took it in dominating fashion. After Colby-Sawyer opened with the first three points, four kills (three from McLoughlin) and three service aces spurred an 8-0 run and Keene State never looked back, going up 12-6 after another McLoughlin kill and Wilson ace. Consecutive kills from Palmer helped the Owls continue to double up the home team (16-8), and a pair of CSC errors made it 19-9. The Chargers scored only two points after that and wound up being outscored 25-8 after leading 3-0.
Keene State was unable to close out another sweep in the third set, as the Owls never led and, despite a late rally, fell in extra points. CSC opened on a 5-2 run and answered every Owl push, as after KSC tied it at 12, the home team took seven of the next ten to go up four (19-15). Still down 23-19, the Owls mounted a late flurry, going up 25-24 on an attack error, but Colby-Sawyer kept the match going for the moment by scoring the next three, all on kills. The fourth frame was more like the first two. Kills from Hunt, McLoughlin and Ashford over a four-point span helped KSC roll out to a 9-3 lead, and the Chargers never caught up. Leading 14-9, the Owls went on a 6-2 to run to restore a nine point edge after a McLoughlin kill. Colby-Sawyer had one final surge, as they answered with nine of the next 11 to get as close as they had been since it was 4-3, but kills from Hunt and Palmer and an attack error sealed the match for KSC.
- Wilson now has 327 assists on the season. The national leader entering Tuesday was Washington University (Mo.)'s Kirby Knapp, who had 341. Olivia Mathieu entered the day sixth nationally in total digs with 173. Keene State was also 37th nationally in team kills.
- The Owls are 15-14 against the Chargers, but have won the last six in a row head-to-head.
- KSC outhit Colby-Sawyer .184 to .065. CSC hit .080 or below in three of the four sets.
- Keene State heads to Boston for a tri-match with Worcester Polytechnic Institute and host Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday, September 14 at 1:00 pm.
- The Chargers host Salem State University (5:00 pm) and UMass-Dartmouth (7:00 pm) on Friday, September 13.