Seahawks remain unbeaten in the conference with 3-2 thriller over Golden Bears

Violet led the way with 37 assists, 10 digs, five kills, four blocks, and an ace
Violet led the way with 37 assists, 10 digs, five kills, four blocks, and an ace

NEWPORT, R.I. - The Salve Regina University women's volleyball team pulled out a exciting 3-2 victory over Western New England University in a Commonwealth Coast Conference match up during Stroke Awareness Night at the Rodgers Recreation Center on Wednesday.

After losing the first set 16-25, the Seahawks rebounded to take both the second and third sets by the same score of 25-21. The Golden Bears forced a fifth set with a 21-25 victory in the fourth frame, but the Seahawks rebounded with a 15-7 victory in the final set to solidify the 3-2 win. Salve Regina improves to 7-6 overall with the win and remains unbeaten in the conference with a perfect 3-0 record. The loss drops the Golden Bears to 6-7 on the season and evens their conference record to 1-1.

The Seahawks were playing to improve stroke awareness while also raising funds for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center through donations, raffles, and a post-match serve-a-thon.

Freshman Taylor Violet (Tiverton, R.I.) stood out for the Seahawks with a match-best 37 assists to go along with 10 digs, five kills, and four blocks. Sophomore Clare Adams (New Concord, Ohio) led all players with 18 kills while also adding 10 digs on the night. Junior Megan Clancy (Chelmsford, Mass.) had a match-high 26 digs, while senior Julianne Barry (Randolph, Mass.) did a little of everything, totalling 10 kills, six digs, three blocks, two assists, and one ace in the win.

The Golden Bears were paced by junior Heather Mears (Amherst, Mass.) who compiled 33 assists, eight digs, five kills, and three blocks, while freshman Kelsey Cameron (Reading, Mass.) added a team-high 10 kills. Sophomore Tyler Singh (Dumont, N.J.) also played well, recording 10 kills, seven digs, and four blocks on the night, while fellow freshman Grace Kuchaski (Avon, Conn.) led the team with 18 digs in the loss.

It was apparent these teams were evenly matched right out of the gate, as the two clubs battled to a 16-all tie in the opening set.

However, the Golden Bears then exploded to score nine straight points, including three consecutive kills by Singh to close the set, 25-16.

The two teams were knotted at 20-20 late in the second set, but this time it was Salve Regina that finished strong. The Seahawks went on a 5-1 run to win the set 25-21, capped by a strong kill by freshman Jennifer Duggan (Merrimack, N.H.).

The closely contested match continued with an 18-all tie in the third set. Violet then sparked SRU to take seven of the final 10 points of the set by contributing four assists and a kill down the stretch as the Sehawks grabbed their second straight 25-21 victory.

Refusing to go away, the Golden Bears jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the fourth set, before holding off a late rally by the Seahawks to take the frame by a score of 25-21.

It all came down to the fifth and final set. The Seahawks capitalized on several Western New England mistakes early on to build a 7-3 adavantage, before the two teams switched sides with SRU leading 8-5. From there, the Seahawks rallied to end the frame on a 7-2 run to take the set 15-7, and the match 3-2.

The Golden Bears will return to the court again on Saturday when they travel to face Endicott at 1:00 p.m., while the Seahawks will host the University of New England on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.