DUDLEY, Mass. – The Curry College women's volleyball team concluded their season with a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) match at Nichols College on Friday evening. After a Bison victory, the hosts improve to 12-12 on the season and 1-7 in conference play. The Colonels also finish at .500, at 13-13, with a 0-8 mark in the CCC.
After the teams worked to a 5-5 tie to open the match, the Colonels took the first four-point lead of the day thanks to a short run which made the score 9-5. A Bison kill by Jayleen Fegan (Mansfield Center, Conn.) broke the streak, but Curry extended their lead to 13-6 after again taking the next four points. The Colonels would extend their lead to eight at 16-8, but Nichols slowly chipped away at the deficit and soon saw themselves down by just a pair at 18-16. The teams traded side-outs, but the Bison completed their comeback by tying the score at 21-21, before capping the first set on a 6-2 run to take it by a score of 25-23.
As the second set got underway, the foes once again battled to a 5-5 tie. However, this time it was the hosts who jumped out to a four-point edge, as back-to-back service aces by Fegan brought the score to 12-8. Faced with an uphill climb, the Colonels fought back to knot the score at 20-all, but the Bison took control from there, scoring five of the next six points to take the set 25-21 and hold a 2-0 advantage in the match.
After watching Nichols take each of the first four points in the third set, Curry proved they were far from finished, as they rattled off a 13-4 run which gave them a five-point lead. Nichols cut the lead to one at 13-12, but the Colonels never surrendered their lead. After a kill by Rachael Veilleux (Wrentham, Mass.) brought the score to 19-16, Curry secured six of the next eight points to force a fourth game, taking the third stanza 25-18.
Aiming to bring the contest to a fifth and deciding set, the Colonels got out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth. The Bison had other ideas, however, and quickly cut their visitors' lead to 10-9. Over the next 20 points, Nichols never trailed by more than three, but also could not seem to even up the score. However, that was only until a kill by Megan Gardner (South Deerfield, Mass.) tied the score at 20-20 and forced the Colonels into a timeout. The teams traded the next four points out of the break, but a short burst by Curry, highlighted by a kill from Amanda Wood (Tokyo, Japan), gave them a 24-22 edge and put them a point away from the fifth set. Nichols responded, though, scoring three straight to make it 25-24. A service error brought the Colonels back to even at 25-all, but two straight Bison points closed the match, as the hosts took set four with a 27-25 score.
The Colonels were led by double-digit kills by Wood (14) and Lexi Pereira (Attleboro, Mass., 13). Curry also had a pair of players put up 10+ assists, in Rachel Damstra (Houston, Texas, 12) and Brooke Reissfelder (Biddeford, Maine, 22). Shea Mathews (Concord, N.H.) was one of four Colonels to record double-digit digs, leading all players in the match with 24. Additionally, freshman Emilie Wilkenson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) turned in a season-high four total blocks (one solo). In the win, the Bison were led by Fegan and Allyson Tuxbury (East Hampton, Conn.), who each registered 13 kills. Veilleux topped Nichols with a match-high 36 helpers while Tuxbury led the team with her 14 digs.
Despite closing the season, the Colonels have several reasons to be optimistic as they look to the near future. After just two seasons with Curry, Pereira (509) and Wood (387) hold the fourth and fifth most career kills in program history, respectively. Also, this season, Wilkenson turned in the fourth most total blocks by a Curry freshman (28). Though the team will see a trio of senior starters depart, the Colonels have a strong core on which they can build as they move forward.