DURHAM, N.H. - Junior Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.) recorded 29 kills - including kills on the last two points of the match - to propel the University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team to Friday night's 3-2 victory against Montana State University in first-day action of the UNH Tournament at the Field House. The score of the match was 20-30, 31-29, 30-25, 27-30 and 15-9.
In the decisive fifth game, UNH (4-8) built an 8-2 advantage before the teams switched sides of the court and then extended its lead to 10-3. Montana State (8-4), behind the service of Lindsay Stobbs and a pair of assisted blocks from the duo of Ana Schanze and Aimee Halyk, won six consecutive points to trim the deficit to 10-9.
The Bobcats would not pull even, however, as UNH's Karen Harrington (Windham, N.H.) ended the run with a kill and recorded a solo block on the next point to give the Wildcats a 12-9 advantage. She teamed with Coler, whose 29 kills was a career high and one short of the school record, for a block on the next point and then Coler closed out the match with a pair of kills.
In addition to Coler, Harrington set a career-high kill total with 12 and Erin Walker (Fulton, N.Y.) had a personal-best 14 kills. Chelsea Hammer (Eden Prairie, Minn.) recorded seven of her career-high 12 kills in the third game, including the three final points of that game.
UNH's Anne Davis (Groveland, Ill.) set career highs in both assists (54) and digs (17) while Sasha Scott (N. Branford, Conn.) was credited with a personal-best 25 digs.
Montana State, which was in control throughout the first game and overcame a 21-19 deficit in Game 4, was led offensively by LeAnn Kinvig (17 kills), Meggie Malyurek (13) and Halyk (11). Kamber Kelly registered 51 assists.
Game 2 was a microcosm of the match. Montana State built an early lead of 15-10 but UNH rallied to tie the score at 15 and took a 17-15 lead. MSU broke a 20-20 tie with a three-point run to take a 23-20 lead and went on to get within game point at 29-26. Facing a possible 2-0 deficit in the match, UNH rallied and tied the game, 29-29, on a Walker kill. The 'Cats took the lead on a controversial call when the officials ruled that a Kinvig attack sailed long, then leveled the match at one game apiece on the next point on a kill by Coler.
In the first match of the tournament, Kent State University improved to 4-5 on the season with a straight-set (30-20, 30-18, 30-27) victory against North Carolina State University, which fell to 2-13 on the year. One noticeable difference was the hitting percentage - Kent State amassed 53 kills and hit .302 for the match while NCSU finished with 26 kills and a .119 hitting percentage.
Danielle Holt led the KSU attack with 16 kills and also contributed eight digs. She was instrumental in the Golden Flashes' quick start, as she had six kills and a .500 hitting percentage in the first game. Jennifer Dreyer (11 kills) and Michelle Corniffe (10) also recorded double figures in kills while Anne Butts set up the offense with 44 assists. Tarrin Pelton, the libero, registered a match-high 12 digs.
NC State was unable to keep the score close in the opening two games but battled throughout the decisive third game. Adeola Kosoko recorded six of her team-high eight kills in Game 3 to lead the Wolfpack. She also led the team in digs with eight. Sara Ensminger and Rebecca Anderson tied with six kills and Lindi Sheppard had 14 assists.
The UNH Tournament concludes with a full day of action on Saturday, Sept. 21. A 10 a.m. match between Montana State and Kent State begins the action and is followed by the "Pack the Arena Match" between NC State and UNH at 12:30 p.m. In the late session, NCSU plays MSU at 4 o'clock and the tourney concludes with KSU vs. UNH at 7 p.m.