DURHAM, N.H. - Jillian Ross (Naperville, Ill.) celebrated Senior Day by recording a career-high 27 kills and a .415 hitting percentage to lead the University of New Hampshire volleyball team to Sunday afternoon's 3-1 America East victory against Towson University at Lundholm Gymnasium. The game scores were 15-5, 15-10, 11-15 and 15-6.
UNH is now 19-9 overall and 10-2 in the conference while Towson is 11-16 and 7-4 in the league.
In Game 1, the Wildcats led 8-5 and methodically pulled away behind the hitting of Ross and fellow senior Kim Mirts-Poen (Essex, Iowa; 11 kills), who had five and four kills respectively in the first game.
Towson led 5-3 through one rotation in Game 2 and held an 8-6 advantage after the next rotation. The 'Cats, with five blocks in the game, scored four consecutive points to take a 10-8 advantage. The Tigers tied the game but UNH closed out the game with five straight points on the service of Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.).
In Game 3, the visitors jumped out to an early 5-1 lead. New Hampshire fell behind 8-3 before reeling off four consecutive points to close within one. The 'Cats surged in front, 11-9, but Lindsey Rattet, who registered seven kills in the game, led a Towson attack that scored six straight points to force a fourth game.
The Tigers carried momentum into Game 4 to build a 4-0 advantage. UNH responded with five unanswered points and led 7-5 through two rotations. The 'Cats then pushed their 10-6 lead to 12-6 on the service of senior setter Stacy Barnett (Crystal Lake, Ill.; 68 assists). UNH closed out the match by winning three points on Ross' serve.
Rattet and Kelly Keegan finished with a team-high 14 kills for Towson. Merideth Baron had 13 kills.
Three other Wildcat seniors played their final regular-season match at Lundholm Gymnasium. Jennifer Walker (Fulton, N.Y.) had 10 kills and four blocks and Katie Jentes (Madbury, N.H.) finished with 11 kills and three blocks. Defensive specialist Kelly Cutillo (West Islip, N.Y.) added five digs.
The UNH volleyball team returns to action Nov. 4 at Northeastern. Game time is 1 p.m.