MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College women's volleyball team fell on Senior Night at the hands of the University of New England in a five-setter. The Nor'easters improve to 15-3 overall and 4-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Colonels move to 13-10 on the season, with a 0-5 mark in league play.
The first set foreshadowed the competitive action to come, as the teams split the first 22 points to work to an 11-11 tie. A kill by Molly Camelo (Melrose, Mass.) gave the visitors a brief 18-17 lead, but a UNE attack error brought the Colonels back to even at 18-all. However, UNE would grab seven of the next eight points to close out the first set by a score of 25-18.
In front of a raucous home crowd, the Colonels were primed and ready to knot up the match, as the second frame got underway. Curry took the first four points and never looked back. The Nor'easters looked to rally in the set, but the Colonels held the lead wire-to-wire, stretching their lead all the way to 10 at 16-6, thanks to a kill by sophomore Lexi Pereira (Attleboro, Mass.). An 11-4 run by UNE gave them hope, as they brought the score to 21-18, but after stringing together a few points, a service ace by Rachel Damstra (Houston, Texas) and another kill by Pereira gave the hosts the last two points they needed to take the frame 25-20.
The third set opened in a similar fashion to the first, but a four-point run by the Colonels brought the score to 10-6 and prompted an early timeout by UNE. The Nor'easters cut the deficit to one at 19-18, then again at 20-19 and 21-20, before eventually breaking through and tying the set at 21-all, forcing Curry into a timeout. Out of the break, UNE earned another pair of points, putting the end in sight. However, four straight points for Curry swung the momentum and gave the hosts a 2-1 lead in the match, thanks to a 25-23 victory in set three.
With the match on the line, the Nor'easters proved they were not ready to go home, as they broke out to a 9-4 advantage in the fourth set and watched their hosts burn a timeout. A UNE error pulled Curry to within three at 11-8, but the Nor'easters forged ahead to a 21-12 edge, capped by three straight Colonel errors. Soon after, though, Curry capitalized on their guests' errors to bring the score to 21-16, but a late push by UNE forced a game five as the stanza ended with a 25-18 score, in favor of the visitors.
As the final set began, the Colonels continued to receive uproarious support from the home fans after every point that went their way. A Pereira kill gave the hosts an 8-7 lead as the teams swapped sides of the floor, but the Nor'easters pushed six points and made it 13-8, highlighted by three straight kills by Paige Simoneau (Hudson, N.H.). Another kill by Pereira broke the run and gave the serve back to the Colonels, but Curry simply ran out of time as UNE closed out the set by a score of 15-10, taking the match.
Both teams had players turn in some impressive numbers in the contest. Simoneau (17 kills, 10 digs) and Katie Flynn (Merrimack, N.H., 11 kills, 12 digs) turned in double-doubles for UNE, while Pereira (24 kills, 14 digs) and Amanda Wood (Tokyo, Japan, 14 kills, 10 digs) did the same for the Colonels, with the former turning in the most kills in the match. Four players for Curry registered double-digit digs in Lex Bell (Salem, Conn., 25, match-high), Pereira, Wood, and Jordyn Keith (Whitman, Mass., 10), while the Nor'easters boasted five players with 10+ digs in Camelo (16), Sydney Christiansen (Palatine, Ill., 16), Flynn, Katie Marsh (Melbourne, Australia, 11), and Simoneau. After 56 total attacks, Pereira turned in an impressive hitting percentage of .393, but the highest clip of the night belongs to Caroline Kilduff (Rockland, Mass.), who turned in a .500 mark on her senior night. Despite battling injuries throughout the tilt, Damstra topped the Colonels with 27 assists and six service aces, while Christiansen led all players with 41 helpers.
The Colonels will continue their CCC schedule with a road match on Saturday, October 26 at Endicott College at 4:00 p.m. The Nor'easters will also hit the road on Saturday, as they head to Salve Regina for a 1:00 p.m. conference match.