WELLESLEY, Mass. - Wellesley College racked up 39 kills in the third and fourth sets and 65 in the match overall while snapping the Keene State College volleyball team's six-match winning streak with a 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-11, 25-21) victory Thursday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
- Keene State: 10-3
- Wellesley: 7-3
How It Happened
The Blue hit a season-high .326 and tipped the match in their favor with a dominant 25-11 third set win that the Owls never recovered from. KSC was once again led by Ali McLoughlin, who had 11 kills and two block assists while hitting .400, but she was the only Owl with double-figure kills. Emilyann Ashford and Kelly Hunt each had eight kills, while Bailey Wilson had 35 assists and Olivia Mathieu 11 digs. Wellesley had three players with 15 or more kills, including Lauren Gedney, who had 22. Nicole Doerges added 16 kills and Nikki Jensen 15, while Izzy Seebold had 59 assists.
KSC scored the opening three points of the match, finishing with an ace from Megan Palmer, but the Blue scored the next four and never trailed again in the first set, eventually opening a 14-6 lead after scoring five straight points. Three kills from McLoughlin helped the Owls chip away some, as the visitors got within five at 19-14, but then only scored once more as Wellesley finished the opening frame with a 6-1 run to take the early edge.
Keene State answered quickly, as they erased a 4-1 deficit in the second set by scoring eight consecutive points and had the upper hand throughout despite several Blue comeback bids. Leading 9-4, the Owls watched the lead dwindle to one (10-9), but two more Palmer aces helped push it back to four and, later, four consecutive KSC points made it 18-11. Trailing 20-12, Wellesley made a late push, getting to within two on two different occasions, the last of which coming after Jensen's kill made it 24-22, but the Owls evened the match on Meghan Shoop's attacking error on the next rally.
The evening turned thereafter, with Wellesley's third set helping them establish control. The hosts tallied the first four points and ballooned the lead to 13-2 quickly after four kills and two aces powered a 7-0 surge. KSC briefly made it 16-7 after a McLoughlin kill and Wilson service ace, but the Blue got kills from Gedney and Doerges to lead 21-8 and closed the frame with ease to take the lead in the match. The Owls could not slow the home team's attack after that, as Wellesley hit .429 and had 22 kills in a 25-21 fourth set win. Leading 8-6 early, the Blue got two spikes from Jensen and one from Gedney to widen the lead to five (11-6). KSC fought back, drawing to within two (15-13) following Wilson's ace and a kill each from McLoughlin and Hunt, and later made it a one-point set at 18-17 after Gedney's error, but Wellesley - in particular, Gedney - answered each time, as she fired down three consecutive points to restore the lead to four. Trailing 23-19, KSC booked consecutive points, including a kill by Ashford, to make a two-point gap once more, but a Doerges kill and KSC attack error gave the Blue the victory in the two teams' first head-to-head meeting since 2015.
- KSC hit .214 as a team in the match, but allowed an opponent season-high 65 kills and .326 attack percentage.
- The Owls have dropped five of six in the all-time series, with the lone win (3-1) coming in the two teams' last matchup four years ago.
- Keene State stays on the road for a conference matchup with Rhode Island College on Saturday, September 21. The match is scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm.
- Wellesley entertains Mount Holyoke College in NEWMAC action on the same day at 1:00 pm.