DURHAM, N.H.- The University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team dropped its home opener to Rutgers in the first day of the UNH Volleyball Tournament Friday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
UNH took the opening game of the match 15-7, but Rutgers rallied and won three straight (15-13, 16-14, 15-12) to win the best of five match.
Despite a new home attendance record of 350, the boisterous crowd could not help contain the dominant play of Rutgers outside hitter Lola Opadiran. Opadiran finished the game with 23 kills and 21 kills and sparked the Rutgers comeback.
In the first game of the match, Katie Jentes (Madbury, N.H.) led the Wildcats with three kills and two service aces as UNH jumped out to the early 1-0 lead. But in the second game Rutgers heated up and UNH had its troubles and committed several attack errors. Those errors combined with the outstanding play of Opadiran sparked Rutgers to tie the match at 1-1.
Despite strong efforts from UNH's Bethany Cole (Canterbury, N.H.), Jillian Ross (Naperville, Ill.) and Jennifer Walker (Fulton, N.Y.) in the third game, the Wildcats were unable to claim the victory and lost a tight 16-14 decision before dropping the fourth game 15-12.
UNH drops to 0-2 on the season and Rutgers moves to 1-0.
In the tournament's first match, the University of Oregon had little trouble in putting away College of Holy Cross in straight games, 15-3, 15-2, 15-7.
The tournament concludes Saturday with a full slate of action beginning at 10 a.m. when Oregon takes on Rutgers. UNH squares off against Holy Cross at 12 p.m., Rutgers takes on Holy Cross at 5 p.m. and UNH closes out the tournament against Oregon at 7 p.m.